Science promotion
Science promotion

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2.4 ‘Go Use’ science promotion events

Science shops, created in the Netherlands in the 1960s and now spread throughout Europe, first emerged in the UK in 1988 (at Queen's University, Belfast). They act as a demand-driven link between a university or independent research facility and the community (usually via citizen groups, such as pressure groups, social groups, consumers and residents associations), putting one in touch with the other upon request. They carry out scientific research on practical, scientific problems at the local community level in a wide range of disciplines. Projects are carried out on behalf of local communities and are usually free of charge. This form of promotion, from society to researchers, is known as the concept of ‘social demand’, and the demand is certainly there: the Queen's University Science Shop receives more than 200 research requests each year. Its research has included projects on the use and abuse of the drug Ritalin, socio-economic factors relating to participation in kerbside recycling, and a user evaluation of the Ulster Cancer Foundation's ‘Freefone Cancer Helpline’. Numerous other UK Universities, including Liverpool, Manchester and Glamorgan, now operate Science Shops (or similar schemes) and the EU actively encourages these shops in all member states.

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