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A 13th International Public Communication of Science and Technology (13ª Conferência Internacional de Comunicação Pública da Ciência e Tecnologia) convida participantes e internautas para uma cobertura colaborativa do evento, que ocorre de 5 e 8 de maio em Salvador.

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Science-tailored surveillance seeks to improve visitor experience in Oregon

7 de Maio de 2014, 8:37 , por Meghie Rodrigues - | Ninguém está seguindo este artigo ainda.
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“Surveillance” has become a scary four-letter-word but its use can go beyond governmental spying and restriction of civil liberties in underdeveloped countries. It can be used in science to understand visitor preferences in science centers and enhance their experience while they’re visiting. That’s what Susan O’Brien and Shawn Rowe from Oregon State University (OSU) brought to the session 2 of videos yesterday. Their presentation, “The free-choice learning and cyberlaboratory: using cutting-edge technology to build capacity at the edge of science and science communication”, was about new forms of using cameras and gathering data to see how sci-comm reception works and how people react to science.

People are monitored in some rooms at OSU’s Hatfield Marine Science Center in order to allow researchers to see how they interact with animals and materials on display so to design a more tailored, driven experience. “We have some questions in mind: what gets people motivated or curious about animals? How can the center improve people’s experience? How can science be better communicated? - and we think this research can help us have a better idea of them in many ways”, Susan O’Brien said.

But still, the idea of having a camera watching your - almost - every move to fit your reaction into quanti-qualitative data is not any less scary because it’s being used to scientific purposes. And how do they deal with ethical issues concerning this method at OSU?

According to Shawn Rowe, cameras don’t work with straightforward facial recognition. It recognizes general patterns that allow researchers to see variables such as gender and age. “Parts of the museum are not under surveillance. The computer doesn’t know who you are, it just creates an ID of your face and sees how you interact”. Furthermore, the project makes data streams available to visitors so they can see and learn about their own experience, besides interacting with researchers. “If visitors don’t want to make part of the project, they can choose to make their visit only in non-surveilled areas”, he adds.