Exploring a Black Box: Cross-national study of visit effects on visitors to large physics research centres in Europe
This article addresses the problem of understanding the effects of public visits to large physics research laboratories. Results from a cross-national quantitative study of 3,301 visitors to four large physics research centers in Europe focus on short-term learning and motivational effects. The authors collected data from these visitors before and after visiting the centers as part of a research project funded by the European Union. This project, INside the Big Black Box (IN3B), aimed to perform a systematic analysis of core aspects of visit programs/ ¨open day¨ initiatives by empirically analyzing and comparing visit data from national and international physics research centers in four European countries: DESY, Hamburg, Germany; DEMOKRITOS, Athens, Greece; LNGS, National Laboratory of Gran Sasso, L’Aquila, Italy; and CERN, Geneva, Switzerland/France. This study drew on the aforementioned research to address visitors’ knowledge, image, and attitudes of the research centers prior to and after having visiting them. Additionally, it also looked at whether these visits motivated scientific vocation.
Full citation: Neresini F., Dimopoulos K., Kallfass M., and Peters, H.P. (2009). Exploring a Black Box: Cross-National Study of Visit Effects on Visitors to Large Physics Research Centers in Europe. Science Communication. 30 (4):506-533. DOI: 10.1177/1075547009332650