http://www.biaza.org.uk/uploads/images/banners/AndrewR.JPG

Public Engagement

The theme of the reception for 2011 was Public Engagement in Science (PES) 

A recent, independent report commissioned by DBIS showed that visiting zoos was the most popular, frequent and accessible science engagement activity amongst the general public. 

Why is public engagement in science important? 

  • Because the UK economy is fundamentally underpinned by advances in science and technology
  • Because our mutual future prosperity depends on a constant and flexible supply of physicists, biologists, engineers, mathematicians, chemists, etc.
  • Because democratic participation in a growing number of vital, complex political, social  and ethical issues (e.g. GM crops, nuclear energy, stem cell research, etc.) require a scientifically literate public
  • Because our leading research universities need public facing partners to engage the public in their vital work

Why do zoos, aquaria and safari parks have a special offer in this area?

  • Because the demographic accessed by BIAZA and its members is both huge over 25 million in 2009 and uniquely socially inclusive. Nearly every UK child passes through the zoo portals at an early formative point. The zoo visit provides a relaxed, lengthy, family occasion for informal science learning impacting on all elements of society
  • Because the visceral, genetically imprinted appeal of wildlife provides a ‘sticky’  and immediately attractive subject and obvious jump off point for science discussion
  • Because scientific themes implicit in the zoological material are not limited to the biological, but involve underlying principles of chemistry, physics, mathematics, engineering, design, technology, psychology, etc
  • Because in addition to informal science engagement, most zoos operate formal educatio departments, fielding some 450 professional teachers and other educators and delivering organised  session to over 1.2 million people  per year



Text size A A A

T +44 (0) 20 7449 6599
E admin@biaza.org.uk

Paignton Zoo's Great Big Rhino Project has made crucial donations of cash to wildlife conservation on two continents. The Project is to give £60,000 to support work in Africa and South East Asia to protect rhinos in the wild. More

Collaborative research by the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, Bristol Zoological Society and the Comorian NGO Dahari has revealed the Livingstone’s fruit bat is likely to be the most endangered fruit bat in the world. 

More

New data released by WWF and ZSL (Zoological Society of London) today reveals that overall global vertebrate populations are on course to decline by an average of 67 per cent from 1970 levels by the end of this decade, unless urgent action is taken to reduce humanity’s impact on species and ecosystems.

More

Bookmark and Share