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Space and time, unlimited is the theme of Ecsite 2012, the annual conference for the European network of science centres and museums


emma wadland • communications officer and webmaster • ecsite Why was the theme chosen?


The rationale behind this theme is that space and time pervade contemporary science and technology; from cosmic exploration to minute nanotechnologies, or the plodding tempo of evolution to the speed of light. Some of the most intriguing scientific inquiry and discovery has been, and continues to be, built on principles of space and time. These two concepts – literally and symbolically – challenge sci- ence centres and museums with endless options and opportunities. We tackle the practical aspects of space and time while overseeing outreach programmes, taking part in projects with consortiums of geographically dispersed institutions or while planning our institu- tion’s management strategy. Space and time also influence how we keep pace with scientific, technological and social devel- opment: For example, when we develop social media campaigns, engage with the ever-expanding world of virtual visitors and exhibitions or strategise on the best ways to effect social change.


How will the talks reflect the theme?


Sessions were chosen based partly on how they answer these key questions: How can we use time and space to communi-


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cate science in new and innovative ways so that we remain relevant to our audiences? And can our institutional spaces keep up with the times in an unlimited way? From exhibitions and collections, insti- tutional strategising, communications and marketing, education to learning and social presence – time and space have unlimited influence over all facets of our work. So, all the sessions chosen connect


to the idea of remaining vital and flexible across space and time – with space and time interpreted literally or figuratively depending on the session.


Who is the keynote speaker?


The keynote speech is on future cities by Professor Carlo Ratti – Queensland’s 2009 innovator in residence and direc- tor of SENSDEable City Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, US. The topic relates to the increasing


deployment of sensors and hand-held electronics in recent years, which is allow- ing a new approach to the study of the built environment. The way we describe and understand cities is being radically transformed – alongside the tools we use to design them and impact on their physi- cal structure. The presentation will discuss these changes from a critical point of view


Read Attractions Management online attractionsmanagement.com/digital AM 2 2012 ©cybertrek 2011 2012


this year’s ecsite conference is held in toulouse, france


based on the work of the SENSEable City Laboratory, a new research initiative at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


What will the key sessions be?


Ecsite is breaking new ground with the project PLACES by involving more than 60 science communication institutions from across Europe in the quest to define and develop European Cities of Scientific


Professor carlo ratti


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