Platform of Local Authorities and Communicators Engaged in Science (PLACES) is a four year (2010-2014) EU-funded project to define, develop and promote the European City of Scientific Culture. The main goal of PLACES is to offer to a wide and diverse community of actors a common platform to structure their science communication activities, at a city and regional level. The PLACES project aims to contribute to the creation of instruments that would allow the study of the impact of initiatives and policies related to science communication and, thus, help Europe expand its use of science for tackling fundamental socioeconomic issues.
Science communication institutions and other stakeholders in European cities will partner with regional and municipal policy makers to design Local Action Plans (LAP). LAP will concretely target key challenges in cities using science-based communication policies. Pilot activities, conferences, workshops, thematic working groups, surveys and reports developed in PLACES will provide a wealth of data, good practices and innovative strategies concerning Science in Society issues. PLACES will produce specific recommendations for policymakers and the EU regarding the engagement of citizens, local authorities and the key role of science communicators in the development of the European Cities of Scientific Culture. After the four years of the project, a new and wide European community will continue sharing and exchanging ideas, experiences and information on Science in Society issues.
PLACES is coordinated by ECSITE, the European network of science centres and museums. Work is lead by ECSITE, the European Regions Research and Innovation Network (ERRIN), the European Science Events Association (EUSEA) and the Science Communication Observatory from Universitat Pompeu Fabra (OCC-UPF).