3 OUTLINE OF REVIEW
3.1 This is a brief review of selected literature relating to engagement in cultural activities, including informal science events. This engagement includes attendance as members of an audience, participation in cultural activities and as visitors at attractions such as museums and science centres. It excludes an extensive literature on the impact of school based learning experiences which is not relevant to the scope of this review.
3.2 In this review, use of the term 'culture' has drawn on Ruiz's (2004) definition of culture and includes theatres, libraries, museums, art galleries, music, dance, reading, singing and playing a musical instrument. The focus is on 'arts and culture' and this term will be used throughout the review. In the area of engagement in science, the review has focused on informal science activities which include attendance at designed environments such as science and discovery centres and museums as well as participation in associated science festivals, events or centres.
3.3 Other types of cultural products are also relevant to explorations of engagement in arts and culture and access to informal science including, for example, television and digital media. Although these areas are relevant, they have not been considered in detail in this study. These are areas which could be considered in future research.
3.4 The review highlights where the evidence relates specifically to arts and culture or informal science events. It has also explored what evidence is available on a range of experiences including where people are disadvantaged by low income and poverty. The age categories of the Scottish Household Survey are followed in this review. A child is defined as aged up to 16 years of age and an adult as 16 years and over.
3.5 The research literature was identified through several different approaches. These included the use of bibliographic search engines as well as accessing publications through academic and professional organisations and networks. A number of experts in the areas of arts and culture and informal science were also contacted for advice on sources of additional research publications. These expert contacts provided invaluable information and additional references. They confirmed the researchers' overall finding that there was limited research on the impact of childhood exposure on adult participation in both arts, culture and informal science.
3.6 The bibliographic search engines included those specifically related to the specialist areas of the study. A variety of search terms were used to maximise the number of articles accessed. In the area of arts and culture, the specialist Impact database held by the Centre for Cultural Policy Research at the University of Glasgow was searched as were other academic databases. These included the Arts and Humanities Citation Index, Social Sciences Citation Index, Assia, ERA (Education Research Abstract) and Project Muse.
3.7 Specialist journals were also searched. In the area of culture, this included the Journal of Cultural Economy and the International Journal of Cultural Policy. In the area of informal science, this included Science Education, Research in Science Education and Museum Studies. In some instances, specialist journals, particularly in the area of informal science, were not readily available and were accessed through other sources where possible.
3.8 Websites of organisations and networks with a focus on both culture and informal science were also searched. These included:
Arts and culture
Arts Council England
Scottish Arts Council
International Federation of Arts Councils and Culture Agencies ( IFACCA)
Association for Science and Discovery Centres
Centre for Advancement of Informal Science Education ( CAISE)
Centre for Informal Learning and Schools
National Science Foundation ( NSF)
The Visitor Studies Association Archive
Also the websites of individual science centres in Scotland, UK, US and Australia.
3.9 The review is divided into two sections. The first section considers arts and culture and the second section the area of informal science. Key themes in each area are summarised. A short review of research studies from academic and non academic literature is provided for each area. Each section concludes with a summary of key points.