Evaluating Visitor’s Expectations and Interests in the realm of Earth Sciences – Results From an Online Survey
- 1University of Munich, Institute of Geophysics, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Munich, Germany (email@example.com)
- 2RiesKraterMuseum Nördlingen, Germany (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- 3Museum Mensch und Natur, München, Germany (email@example.com)
- 4Bayerische Staatssammlung für Paläontologie und Geologie
A new campus for geosciences will be built in the center of Munich, which will also house an innovative exhibition on geosciences, the Forum der Geowissenschaften. A team of scientists, curators and museum educators began planning the exhibition last year.
Topics from all sub-fields of geoscience and geoscientific research are to be presented in an exciting and informative way for a broad spectrum of visitors. A catalogue of topics and content for the forthcoming permanent exhibition is currently in preparation. Since the topics that the team of experts find most interesting do not always coincide with the interests of the general public, potential visitors should be involved in the planning process, too. For this purpose, an online survey was conducted. The aim of this survey was to obtain an overview of geo-topics that would be considered particularly exciting and relevant by the future public. The survey should reveal which topics visitors would like to see in the future Forum der Geowissenschaften and which information they expect to find in the exhibition.
Existing email distribution lists of museums in Munich, the Bavarian Natural History Collections, the university and other partner institutions were used to call for participation in the survey. The distribution lists used suggest that this survey targeted a field of participants that included the so-called ‘interested layperson’, teachers, and people directly related to geological research.
Participants were asked to rate a wide range of topics according to their interest on a Likert scale from ‘very interested’ to ‘not interested’. In addition, open questions asked participants to name other topics they found interesting.
More than 750 evaluable responses were received. First results, which are presented here, indicate very heterogeneous interests of the different age groups and professions. In addition, the interest in the different topics can be interpreted in relation to the self-assessed prior knowledge in geosciences but also in relation to demographic data such as gender and place of residence.
All in all, the survey provides a comprehensive database that will help to refine the exhibition concept and to design further communication measures. However, the data also stimulates a discussion about whether topics are considered by participants to be of little interest because these topics may have been communicated inadequately and ineffectively to date. If this is the case, the geosciences need to find new, modern approaches to science communication in order to arouse curiosity about these topics, which are often of great social relevance.
How to cite: Seybold, L., Schneider, S., Junge, M., Kaliwoda, M., Simon, G., Koelbl-Ebert, M., and Baumann, A.: Evaluating Visitor’s Expectations and Interests in the realm of Earth Sciences – Results From an Online Survey, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-9051, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-9051, 2022.