Science and art – Evaluating public perception of the mural “Volcanoes of Chile”

Science and art – Evaluating public perception of the mural “Volcanoes of Chile”

Author: Sofia Otero – University of Chile, Chile

Luz Fariña – University of Chile

In September 2017 the Andean Geothermal Centre of Excellence launched the mural “Volcanoes of Chile”, along with Metro de Santiago in one of its subway stations. The 300m2 artwork – which includes hyper realistic images and gigantic infographics- is the first educative science mural of the city, and is located at a very busy corner of Santiago’s city center. The content and design of this mural was a cooperative work between geologists and artists, mediated by science communicators from CEGA. Over its four walls, it presents: types of volcanoes, volcanoes close to Santiago; historic volcanic eruptions, geothermal energy; and the plate subduction process. Our idea is to evaluate the public perception of this work, what is really the mural takeaway for the audience? We intend to work with two specific groups: workers from the sector adjacent to the mural (restaurants, clothes shops, etc) and residents nearby, separating the answers by gender and age to determine the appropriation of the message in different audiences. We propose a research method by open interviews to determine: What caught their attention about the mural? Which images do they like most? Which topics they identified? The answers will be an input to improve future murals we are planning to develop in the country, guiding us in how to show better scientific contents in public spaces, so that the messages are better understood by the public.

The author has not yet submitted a copy of the full paper.

Presentation type: Idea in progress
Theme: Stories
Area of interest: Investigating science communication practices