Science Centre Research Omnibus Survey Report 2009 – Research Findings No. 14/2011

These research findings were published in January 2011.

“The Office of the Chief Scientific Advisor ( OCSA) provides support to the four Science Centres in Scotland (Glasgow Science Centre, Our Dynamic Earth, Dundee Science Centre / Sensation and Satrosphere) to inspire and engage with the public on the topic of science. In collaboration with the Office of the Chief Researcher ( OCR), OCSA developed an evaluation framework to gather information on the centres on local and national levels. The work presented here is the result of the second wave of an omnibus survey, first carried out in 2009, of the general public in Scotland and was commissioned by the Scottish Government as part of the information gathering exercise.

Main Findings

  • Just over two thirds of respondents (68%) were aware of at least one of the four science centres, although, similar to 2009 results, awareness was largely confined to one centre, and the one that was located nearest to them geographically. Awareness had dropped from 76% in 2009.
  • The 32% of respondents who were unaware of any of the science centres was biased towards those in DE socio economic groupings and households without children, again similar to the 2009 results.
  • Respondents were most likely to have first become aware of any of the science centres through ‘word of mouth’.
  • Just over a quarter (26%) of all respondents had previously visited one of the four centres, down from 34% in 2009. Most respondents had visited once or twice, similar to 2009.
  • The 74% of respondents who had never visited a science centre were biased towards those in the lower socio economic groupings, older age groups and those with no children. ‘Don’t know anything / enough about them’ was given as a reason for non visitation for over half (51%) of non visitors.
  • ‘Education / learning’ (30%) and ‘for children’ (23% were the most cited reasons for visiting a science centre, however 40% said they did not know.
  • Just over two thirds (69%) of respondents thought that the science centres were aimed towards children.
  • Just over 1 in 10 (12%) of respondents had heard of the Royal Society of Edinburgh ( RSE) – similar to the 14% in 2009 – with awareness being biased to AB respondents and those in the East – again similar to 2009. However, 8 in 10 of those aware of RSE were unable to say what it did.”

Other documents also available:

Science Centre Research: Omnibus Survey 2009 – Report

Final Visitor Research Report 2008-10: Scottish Science Centre Evaluation

Starting Young? Links between Childhood and Adult Participation in Culture and Science – A Literature Review

Glasgow Science Centre


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