do you want to know
what’s new?

ACCENT heads to Hawaii for the ASTC Conference

10.11.2010 > 10.12.2010

i do climate - ACCENT heads to Hawaii for the ASTC Conferencei do climate - ACCENT heads to Hawaii for the ASTC Conference
i do climate - ACCENT heads to Hawaii for the ASTC Conferencei do climate - ACCENT heads to Hawaii for the ASTC Conference
i do climate - ACCENT heads to Hawaii for the ASTC Conference

Sheena Laursen presents ACCENT.

Each year, the Annual Conference of the American Association of Science and Technology Centers (ASTC) provides science centre professionals from across the globe with an intimate forum to exchange ideas and discuss the field’s leading issues. This year in Honolulu, October 2-5 2010, the Observa team attended the conference proposing a presentation of the Accent Project and some results of our work with focus groups in a round table regarding youngsters and climate change.

During the first round presentation Sheena Laursen introduced the main goals of the Accent project and the main activities. We also proposed the Local Citizens Debate Format emphasizing the Accent effort to move the campaign on climate change from “informative” to the “active” phase, through the exchange and dissemination of practices, with specific actions that encourage the involvement of citizens in actions and dialogue. We also presented some preliminary findings: there are a strong connection between values and forces in two distinct dimensions: local and global. Individual or communitarian values are often in contrast with global and local forces, and these forces depend from the globalization process. Citizens choose usually one of the angle of different scenarios.

Participants in the round table demonstrate a kind interest in the argument presented; expressing a genuine desire for further information about youngsters’ engagement and the comparison between the US and Europe. In some case we found common results and preoccupation for the communication of the climate change issues. Each of the participants offered a different perspective on the issue of climate change proposing four types of questions: which role could play the media system for implementing correct information on climate change issues? How can science centers improve their role of interface between experts and citizens?  Do youngsters have enough personal experience for talking about climate change issues? What can citizens do to mitigate global warming?

In our data, Italian youngsters view the Global Warming Climate Change as a whole problem, a problem for the global planet. Most of the time they consider the Climate Change as a danger, citing the possibility of missing countries or ice melting phenomena. They perceive the effects and rarely the causes, and you have to stimulate them in order to have some consideration about causes; some of them have a skeptical position on the power of public authorities in order to manage the problem, for instance reducing energy or recycling waste.

Talking with youngsters, we found difficulties to match the local phenomena with the Global problem of Global Warming. Thus, They sustain ethical declarations but usually some contradictions about sustainable behavior. Talking about public communication, they mentioned the different position of scientists, controversies and the inconsistent level of information.

Our professional satisfaction from planning and attending the conference was the chance to interact with the people most active in the climate change issues at the science centers. At the end we were satisfied both for the organization and the contents discussed, recognizing a possible new role for science centers in the public debate.



Giuseppe Pellegrini (

Chiara Segafredo (

Observa – Science in Society (

Comments (0)

You must be logged in to add comments.

0 100 200 300 400 500 600 700 800 900 1000 1100 1200 1300 1400 1500 1600 1700 1800 1900
Sea levels rising from polar ice cap depletion? The more hits to
the “I do” website, the more citizens committed to action, the lower the level will drop.