Wetenschap in het Weekend. Een onderzoek naar de beleving van en de publiciteit rondom het Weekend van de Wetenschap 2012

C.G. van der Veer, M. Groven, L. Higler

Research output: Book / ReportBookAcademicpeer-review



The until 2007 yearly organized Science Week that aimed at the enhancement of the knowledge of scientific and technological developments by the general public, has from 2008 on developed into a month of activities: Oktober Kennismaand (October-Month of Knowledge). In order to reach a wide audience a good communication strategy that reaches and appeals to a wide audience is imperative.
The Science Weekend, in 2012 organized for the first time as the core activity of Oktober Kennismaand, was evaluated on behalf of The National Foundation for Science and Technology. The evaluation research comprised a questionnaire that was distributed among 500 (adult) visitors of 4 random selected different locations with activities during the weekend of October 6 and 7, 2012.
The researchers used the data collected by the survey and the interviews to answer the following questions:
1) Who are the visitors of Oktober Kennismaand?
2) To what extent was the publicity campaign a success and what were the roles played by the different media used in this campaign?
3) How do visitors experience the activities of the Science weekend, and how do they evaluate them?
4) What kind of interest in scientific and technological developments do visitor express, apart from visiting the Science Weekend?

The success of the promotion campaign in 2012 is measured by the effectiveness of the different communication channels. The main sources of information for the Science weekend appear to be informal channels such as family and acquaintances (24%), internet (17%), and information by newspapers and advertisements (15%).
Although the informational role of the website (www.oktoberkennismaand.nl is still modest, in 2012 a considerable part of the respondents (69%) indicated that they would like to be informed in the future about activities during the Science Week by email and internet in general, including social network sites. In that respect it is interesting to learn that the vast majority of the visitors (78%) indicated to use social network sites every now and then.
The research findings indicate that the activities during the Science weekend 2012 attracted a wide audience, like in previous years. Young people and adults, men and women visited activities all through the Netherlands. More than in previous years, in 2012 the higher educated (Polytechnics and University degree) are overrepresented among the visitors of the Science Weekend and the average age (42) is higher than in previous years during the whole Oktober Kennismaand.
Considering the type of activities, the preference of the visitors, regardless of age, points to activities like creating things themselves, doing tests, viewing experiments or participating in it, listening and the like. Visitors also prefer lectures or participating in an excursion.
Visitors evaluate the Science Weekend in the first place as interesting, instructive and pleasant. They are unanimous in their highly positive evaluation of the visited activities.
Not surprisingly most visitors are interested in scientific and technological developments and also want to have more personal influence on those developments. And a considerable minority (45%) expresses interest in the way different organizations and institutions contribute to scientific developments in the Netherlands.
The research findings show that the Science Weekend offers what it promises: a variety in attractive, interesting and pleasant activities for a wide public.
Original languageDutch
Place of PublicationAmsterdam
PublisherCultural Studies Foundation SCS Amsterdam/ National Centre for Science and Technology
Number of pages37
ISBN (Print)9789073849211
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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