Public Engagement in Science in Korean Context

Saturday, February 13, 2016: 10:00 AM-11:30 AM
Hoover (Marriott Wardman Park)
Seunghwan Kim, KOFAC, Seoul, South Korea
The rapid economic growth of Korea, known as the Miracle of the Han River, is a historically unprecedented model that transformed Korea from a recipient country to a donor country based on science technology and education. In its early days, the Korea Foundation for the Advancement of Science and Creativity (KOFAC) conducted projects to improve science literacy in Korea. KOFAC has put great effort in promoting science among the Korean population for half a century since its foundation as the Association for Supporting Science and Technology in 1967. It runs various programs to promote public understanding of science as a way of communication between science and society, scientists and the public.

The year 2016 marks the 50th anniversary of science technology in the Republic of Korea, starting from the establishment of the Korea Institute of S & T (KIST) in 1967, the first modern institute of Korea. Over fifty years, science and technology have been the driving force behind economic growth; for the next fifty years, they will take the lead in ushering Korea into the future, taking root in the culture and daily lives of Korean. The 2015 OECD Ministerial Meeting and the World Science & Technology Forum were held in Daejeon, Korea and the Daejeon Declaration was presented guiding for future science technology. The declaration highlights the importance of creating a culture which goes beyond understanding and facilitates opening and participation, focusing on open science, citizen science, and open innovation.

KOFAC is the only organization specialized in science culture in Korea, performs science culture projects that the public can voluntarily enjoy science. We are now aiming for greater public engagement in science (PES), which is more than simple public understanding of science (PUS) and the popularization of science. Science play zones have been installed in popular public areas, such as subway stations, to enable people to enjoy science. "Snack science" content, such as science games, has also been developed. In addition, science busking programs in which young scientists go out into streets to communicate with the public on the theme of science, and support for citizen science studies are also on the schedule. Korea's science culture is evolving into a form of lifetime education and a form of culture in which people voluntarily participate in science on a daily basis.