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In Australia, we are getting better at engaging everyday people with science.

We do it on the streets. We do it in cinemas. We do it on trains, planes and buses. We do it in our national parks and we do it in our own backyards.

It is important to engage Australians with science because it plays a significant role in our personal health and wealth, and in our collective growth as a nation.

A big reason why we, science communicators and communication researchers, are getting better at engaging the public with science is that we are learning from each other about what works and what doesn't. We, ourselves, are getting better at engaging with each other.

That is why we'd love to add your science engagement project to the national database.

You can add one project or as many projects as you want.

If you already have a project listed, feel free to update the information at any time.

Contact us if you are not sure how you can access your project information.

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Observations

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Observations can provide rich insight into your audience. They may include things like:

  • Basic demographic observations – who is there?
  • Behavioural observations – what are they doing?
  • Time spent at different parts of the event
  • Actions at different parts of the event
  • Facial expressions
  • Observations can be difficult to collect as you need to have at least one person whose job it is to observe attendees’ behaviour at the event.

    You may use ‘sneaky friends’ who go up and have a chat to people to find out what they are thinking (with thanks for terminology to Carly Siebentritt from CSIRO Education, Victoria).

    In order for observations to be most useful, they need to be collected systematically and rigorously. Otherwise they may not really tell you how the audience is responding to the event.

    Even so, observations will be subjective and this is an inherent limitation. Without knowing a person, it can be difficult to interpret actions and facial expressions. For example, how can you tell whether a person on their phone is bored and checking Facebook, or tweeting about the really interesting thing they just learned, or texting a friend to come and join them at a really fun event?

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