The table above shows a similarity in profiles between science website users and those who have visited a science museum of some sort in the past year. Going to a science museum may prompt someone to check out its website, and vice versa. In fact, when looking at the correlations among these different ways of finding out about science, the strongest relationship is between use of science websites and going to science museums.
Looking at this phenomenon more closely shows that going to a science website or a science museum is linked to higher levels of engagement with other science information sources.
Having visited one of the six science websites asked about clearly is associated with a big boost in having paid a visit to a science museum, and having been to a science museum gives boost, albeit smaller, to the chances of having visited a science website.
The strong correlation between visits to science websites and museums makes providers of these services members of a common community in a distinctive way. Visitors to a Smithsonian museum may go to the Smithsonian website to learn more about something they saw during their in-person visit. But that same visitor may also visit – or even instead visit – the website of another entity that provides information on the topic at hand. The internet’s “many-to-many” character drives this phenomenon and the growth of high-speed networks accentuates it.