In the coming weeks, EvalFest will be doing a series of “Science Festival Snippets” where we share bite-sized summaries from science festival literature… even more exciting, some of this literature was written by our very own EvalFest team members! Be on the look-out for this series and easily find all the related posts by clicking the “Science Festival Snippets” tag.


Article: “Going to these events truly opens your eyes”. Perceptions of science and science careers following a family visit to a science festival.

What do we know?

  • Children’s interests in studying science are influenced by parents, which is one component of what is known as “science capital.” However, families from deprived areas are less likely to identify with science and are also less likely view their children pursuing science-related careers positively.
  • With that in mind, researchers wanted to know: does attending a science festival event as a family shift these attitudes?
  • Initial findings indicate that parents from deprived areas who attended a science festival were more likely to: 1) report an improved view of science from attendance, and 2) feel more positive about their children pursuing a science-oriented career.
  • Researchers did not find that science festival attendance increased informal science activity, specifically for families with low-SES.

How do we know?

Researchers for this study used a mixed-methods approach of parents attending the 2017 Lancashire Science Festival. They began with a pre-event questionnaire, followed by interviews on the day of the event. After the event, they did a post-event questionnaire, and conducted a focus group.

Where do we go to learn more?
Canovan, C. (2019). “Going to these events truly opens your eyes”. Perceptions of science and science careers following a family visit to a science festival. Journal of Science Communication, 18 (02).