Anne Glover, UEGema Revuelta and Eva Alloza, from the Science Communication Observatory (OCC) of the University Pompeu Fabra (UPF), participated on the 20th and 21th of June at the 3rd annual conference of the European project PLACES held in Turin with the theme Modeling cities of scientific culture. The conference addressed issues such as the contribution of science communication activities in creating bonds between people and their city, the challenges posed by smart cities and how citizens can influence local and regional science policies.

In its third year, PLACES is no longer a project to become a reality. Cities and regions are developing science actions and are starting to provide resources and recommendations. Many European cities and regions belonging to the project presented the results of their local action plans and pilot activities. The impact of this ongoing work is reflected in the 30 external cities that attended the conference to share their experiences and get closer to the PLACES project.

The Science Communication Observatory participates in PLACES with the development of the Impact Assessment Toolkit, a set of tools to measure the impact of Science Communication Initiatives and Policies (SCIP). Gema Revuelta presented the toolkit and the preliminary results of its application in 25 museums, science events and cities across Europe.

The conference also raised the challenges of responsible research and innovation (RRI) within Horizon 2020, the new European framework program for research and innovation, in which science communicators, cities and regions will have a key role.

All presentations are available, as well as the 56 city partnership’ postersphotographs of the conference and a video summary of the two days in Turin.

The PLACES final conference will be from 10th to 12th of March 2014 in the German city of Bremen. The PLACES Declaration on European Cities of Scientific Culture will be signed and presented. The statement, developed during the 4 years of the project, summarizes the main attributes and elements that a European City of Scientific Culture should have.

PLACES (Platform of Local Authorities and Communicators Engaged in Science) is a project of the European Commission lead byECSITE network (The European Network of Science Centres and Museums) and coordinated also with EUSEA (European Science Events Association), ERRIN ( European Regions Research and Innovation Network) and OCC (Science Communication Observatory, Universitat Pompeu Fabra).

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