A group of children, with adults watching, pilot a robot at a science festival.

About

About Science.Events

This site is the online hub for a community of practice dedicated to public science events.

The members of this community of practice share a craft: each member is affiliated with at least one event initiative, and they are united by an interest in live, in-person events that connect public audiences and science/STEM in some way. 

Members are also united by a sense of community with each other: every member actively participates in some form of networking activity every year.

Science.events is primarily focused on supporting connections in the US and Canada. It is managed by staff in the MIT Museum’s Experimental Practice Group with support from a Leadership Team that includes:

Kacie Baum, Nebraska Science Festival

Dana Buskovitz, Atlanta Science Festival

Sam Connors, Everyday Futures Fest

Monique Ealey, Mississippi Science Festival

Diana Plasker, Science Friday Events

Sandra Valencia, City of STEM

Kari Wouk, BugFest Raleigh

With help from:
Brown Art Ink and Pueblo

With support from:
Simons Foundation

What is a public science event?

Science.events brings together anyone using live, in person events to connect public audiences with science or STEM in some way. These events include a wide enough variety of formats that it is not possible to describe a “typical” event. Similarly, the members affiliated with science.events encompass a wide range of motivations. Some may think of their work as being about science education or outreach, others may be more motivated by artistic expression or community organizing, and others may just be following their instincts by mashing up science and culture.

Every public science event initiative has the potential to transform the people it touches. Unlocking that potential begins with the recognition that event organizing is a distinct practice. Think about it this way: for science writing to work, it must work first as good writing. For science film to work, it must work first as good film making. Analogously, for a public science event to be effective at all, it must first work as a good event. Just as the writer’s medium is language, and the film-maker’s medium is moving images, the event organizer’s medium is the orchestration of a shared social experience. If this definition seems broad, that’s because it should be: Live events should be whatever they need to be—organized wherever, whenever, however, and in collaboration with whomever—to produce a successful shared social experience.

Examples of our collaborative projects

For years, public science event organizers have inspired each other and worked together to accomplish amazing things. Here are some examples of collaborative projects produced by science.events members.

The Science Events Summit

A unique professional meeting for anyone interested in public science events (it first met in 2011 as the International Public Science Events Conference).

Science Live

A survey of the public science events landscape in the US and UK.

The Science Festival Alliance

What began in 2009 as an effort to start three new science festivals has grown into a network of scores of festivals in the US and Canada reaching millions of people every year.

Science In Vivo

Collaborative experimentation with teams across the US into new ways of integrating science experiences into existing cultural contexts and social settings.

ScienceNearMe

A clearinghouse of opportunities for the public to participate in thousands of science-related projects.