Ecsite Conference 2019
“Ecsite’s vision is to foster creativity and critical thinking in European society, emboldening citizens to engage with science. Its mission is to inspire and empower science centres, museums and all organisations that engage people with science, and to promote their actions. The network gathers more than 350 organisations in Europe and world-wide.” (http://www.ecsite.eu)
Last week, our Education & Public Engagement Manager attended the Ecsite Conference 2019 in Copenhagen. The theme of this years conference was “Pushing Boundaries”. The event brought together over 1000 delegates from all around the globe, all of whom have some involvement in Public Engagement in STEM. The conference was held in Copenhagens “Experimentatirum” – a fantastic example of a public access engagement venue (https://www.experimentarium.dk/)
The programme for the three-day conference was extremely diverse and explored key issues including the future of science engagement (and using science engagement to explore what the future may bring), addressing misinformation among our target audiences and effective methods of evaluating learning and engagement as a result of EPE and outreach activtity. Ideas around the future of STEM engagement practices in the research community following the close of Horizon 2020 and RRI (Responsible Research and Innovation) were also explored and the future landscape of engagement in Europe, as a result of this significant change, were discussed.
The conference really highlighted the excellent work that is taking place in the area of Education & Public Engagement globally and, following some of the best-practice examples demonstrated at the conference, it was evident the role that CONFIRM and the other Science Foundation Ireland funded research centres play in delivering similar, best-practice EPE initiatives in Ireland.