“Platform of Local Authorities and Cities Engaged in Science”
The project PLACES is all about science communication policies in cities to develop “Cities of Scientific Culture” together with networks of science events, science museums and research regions.
PLACES Networks partners are Ecsite/Brussels (www.ecsite.eu), EUSEA/Vienna (www.eusea.info) and ERRIN/Brussels (www.errin.eu), supported by UPF/Barcelona (www.occ.upf.edu). The networks develop a common platform for a wide and diverse community of actors to promote the cooperation in their science communication activities, at city/regional level. Over four years, 65 science communication institutions (science centres, museum, festivals) are supported to work with their local authority administrators and policy makers to plan and implement their long-term co-operation for the “City of Scientific Culture”.
PLACES promotes the City of Scientific Culture at regional levels via the ERRIN network, whose regional members host advanced “science cities” and at city level where Ecsite/EUSEA’s science communicators have engaged their local authorities in the project, by creating a formal City Partnership (CP).
The 3 PLACES partner networks Ecsite, EUSEA and ERRIN, create a cyber-platform for their selected members and organize many meetings merging the various types of actors and producing thematic reports and concrete recommendations.
At the city level, members of Ecsite and EUSEA receive support to produce Local Action Plans in each city, a Local Survey and, if selected, a seed money grant to launch a new “Pilot Activity”. Local and regional authority administrators receive training and support via the expertise of science communicators.
Additionally, an independent European team of academic researchers assesses the impact of activities in 10 science centres, 10 events and 10 cities, by selecting with neutrality among the PLACES participants, in the responsibility of the “science communication observatory” of the University Pompeu Fabre in Barcelona (UPF/SCO).
The numerous operational links stimulated by PLACES will generate much new knowledge which will be used to define, at a European level, models and recommendations toward various political levels. With PLACES, a European community of professionals from 28 countries will share and exchange experiences and information around the dedicated cyber-platform OPEN to be maintained permanently as a new service of dissemination after the project completion.