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European Network of Science Centres in communicating energy-related topics

Final Report Summary - SCICOM (European Network of Science Centres in communicating energy-related topics)

Executive Summary:
SCICOM represents a network of experts who work with and on new concepts for communicating science to the public. One of these concepts was to address the interests and concerns of citizens through interactive exhibitions in association with science concepts with citizens´ debates and participative democracy tools. Especially, the research topic of Renewable Energy iss discussed very much these days in the public and therefore needs more involvement of the public into the development of science and research. The SCICOM European Network is considered to use innovative communication models for enlarging the public at the European level when communicating science in Renewable Energy. In many European countries initiatives have been started in setting up science centres, science museums and in organising national or regional events. The main part of the project comprised the planning, preparation and implementation of a touring/travelling exhibition "ENERGY ISLAND" in the field of renewable energy, a joint policy recommendations paper, the organisation of a series of events and the exchange and dissemination of good practice examples. During six workshops the SCICOM Consortium discussed the main content for the travelling exhibition and analysed results from a survey defining the need of visitors and the public in Renewable Energy. It turned out that the public needs very basic and easy understandable information and interactions in order to learn about the advantages of renewable energies. Based on these discussions and results, but also the involvement of external experts and scientists, the SCICOM team developed the "ENERGY ISLAND" exhibition. The touring exhibition was officially launched in Rome, Italy, on the 12th of November 2009. The exhibition toured through the cities of Rome, Italy, Aberdeen, UK, Tallinn, Estonia, Bremen, Germany, Paris, France, and is currently based in Zurich, Switzerland until October 2011. Up to now the Energy Island was visited by more then 300.000 people and more than 30 workshops and special events have been organised with policy- and decision makers, representatives of civil society organisations and teachers and schools. The Energy Island was very much liked by the visitors, thus, they already ask for the exhibition and when it will come again.
Project Context and Objectives:
The overall objective of the project is to develop an operating network of science centres and experts in the field of renewable energy. The main part of the project comprised the planning, preparation and implementation of a touring/travelling exhibition in the field of renewable energy, a joint policy recommendations paper, the organisation of a series of events and the exchange and dissemination of good practice examples.
To achieve these overall objectives the following specific objectives have been set:
* To increase the efficiency of national and European initiatives to communicate science and research by identifying and promoting the success factors of several science centres and museums in Europe
* To coordinate the collaboration between institutions running science exhibitions and communication events by setting up a European network of experts in science communication and organising exhibitions
* To organise common workshops within the network while setting up a joint policy paper in the field of communicating science and research in renewable energy
* To organise a co-ordinated SCICOM travelling exhibition in the field of renewable energy at the different locations within the SCICOM network
* To build up a sustainable network of science centres with focus on energy topics, which will keep up co-operation and mutual exchange beyond the duration of this project and to exchange and disseminate good practice
* To increase the engagement of civil society organisations, policy-makers and other decision makers in communication and educational matters (with focus on energy issues) by promoting policy recommendations and guidelines on the organisation of exhibitions and other events
* To foster the creation of awareness in the field of Energy/Energy savings, efficiency and renewable energy to the public, esp. young people

The SCICOM project has been initiated to establish a science centre network focusing on energy topics and its activities will bring in other science centres that want to start events and exhibitions in the energy sector. There is a great potential in reaching a lot of citizens in Europe when communicating science and technology on issues like renewable energy and to convince the citizens of the importance of implementing renewable energy technologies as well as to use energy efficiently. The current activities of the European Union to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions and to reduce the use of fossil fuels can only be successful if the majority of citizens will support these measures. The public has the strength to implement renewable energy technologies (e.g. solar energy, photovoltaic, and biomass) in their own houses and to use bio fuels when driving their cars. The challenge for the policy makers is to communicate the advantages of more efficient energy use to the public and to convince them about the necessity to do so. The SCICOM project is the intermediate between policy makers, scientists and the industry to inform and educate the public on new energy technologies and the use of renewable energy.

Project Results:
SCICOM was a Coordinaiton and Support Action where no research has been done.
The established and produced travelling exhibition "ENERGY ISLAND" will be offered also after the end of the project to other science centres and museums that they can rent the exhibition for a certain time frame.
Potential Impact:
The exhibition toured through the cities of Rome, Italy, Aberdeen, UK, Tallinn, Estonia, Bremen, Germany, Paris, France, and is currently based in Zurich, Switzerland until October 2011. Up to now the Energy Island was visited by more then 350.000 people and more than 30 workshops and special events have been organised with policy- and decision makers, representatives of civil society organisations and teachers and schools. The Energy Island was very much liked by the visitors, thus, they already ask for the exhibition and when it will come again.
List of Websites:
http://www.scicom-net.eu

Mr. Michael Holl
Welios BetriebsGmbh
holl@welios.at
+43 (0)7242 908 200 0