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Nanosciences Live in Science Centres and Museums (NANOTOTOUCH)
Start date: Mar 1, 2009, End date: Aug 31, 2011 PROJECT  FINISHED 

"The NANOTOTOUCH proposal aims to create innovative environments for the broad public to learn about and to discuss nano research by directly involving the actors of research themselves. We propose to do this by taking the laboratory environment and the research work out of enclosed academic campuses and relocating them right in the midst of the public in science museums and science centres. Three science museums and three science centres will closely cooperate with local university partners to create three permanent Open Nano Lab locations (in Munich, Milan and Gothenburg) and three Nano Researcher Live areas (in Mechelen, Tartu and Naples). In these places the visitors will experience “live” the day-to-day practices and processes of nano research conducted by young scientists. This peer-to-peer dialogue on an equal basis between lay public and nano-researchers not only creates a bidirectional feedback, it also minimises the expert-to-lay bias (“top-down"" approach) inherent present science communication processes with authoritative top researchers. In order to prepare the young scientists for this novel method of communication, NANOTOTOUCH also includes a strong communication skills training component. NANOTOTOUCH will also establish new role models for choosing science as a career: young adults thinking of entering science will be able to discuss various aspects with young researchers who themselves made this decision recently, whilst upcoming researchers will learn that communication is a self-evident part of their professional identity. Thus, NANOTOTOUCH pushes science communication to its extreme, merging communication and research in a powerful way and responding to the need for more transparency and accessibility in science. Furthermore, the strong synergetic network approach of the project enables contents and models to be developed for further distribution and implementation in educational and scientific communities."
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