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Public Understanding of Science

Bankole A Falade, Martin W Bauer
This study, of modern common sense in Nigeria, combines questionnaires and interviews to examine the compatibility and incompatibility of religion and science. Nigeria is a large country with a complex diversity of religious, ethnic and cultural practices that condition the reception and elaboration of science in everyday life. We find evaluative attitudes to science structured as 'progress', 'fear' and 'mythical image'. Scientific knowledge and religiosity have a direct bearing on expectations of progress and feeling of fear and worry about science; mythical image is independent of this...
February 1, 2017: Public Understanding of Science
Sylvester Senyo Ofori-Parku
This study examines how local residents make sense of offshore oil production risks in Ghana's nascent petroleum industry. From a naturalistic-interpretive perspective, it is primarily based on in-depth interviews with community residents: 8 opinion leaders, 15 residents, and 1 journalist. Residents associate Tullow's oil activities with health concerns (e.g. conjunctivitis), environmental challenges (e.g. the emergence of decomposed seaweeds along the shore), and socio-economic concerns (e.g. loss of livelihoods, decline in fish harvest, and increased rent and cost of living)...
January 1, 2017: Public Understanding of Science
Jeong-Heon Chang, Sei-Hill Kim, Myung-Hyun Kang, Jae Chul Shim, Dong Hoon Ma
Using data from a national survey of South Koreans, this study explores the role of science communication in enhancing three different forms of scientific knowledge ( factual, procedural, and subjective). We first assess learning effects, looking at the extent to which citizens learn science from different channels of communication (interpersonal discussions, traditional newspapers, television, online newspapers, and social media). We then look into the knowledge gap hypothesis, investigating how different communication channels can either widen or narrow the gap in knowledge between social classes...
January 1, 2017: Public Understanding of Science
Kristrún Gunnarsdóttir, Kjetil Rommetveit
The decision in Europe to implement biometric passports, visas and residence permits was made at the highest levels without much consultation, checks and balances. Council regulation came into force relatively unnoticed in January 2005, as part of wider securitization policies urging systems interoperability and data sharing across borders. This article examines the biometric imaginary that characterizes this European Union decision, dictated by executive powers in the policy vacuum after 9/11 - a depiction of mobility governance, technological necessity and whom/what to trust or distrust, calling upon phantom publics to justify decisions rather than test their grounding...
February 2017: Public Understanding of Science
Kjetil Rommetveit, Brian Wynne
This essay begins from the intensified entanglements of technoscientific innovation with miscellaneous societal and public fields of interest and action over recent years. This has been accompanied by an apparent decline in the work of purification of discourses of natural and human agency, which Latour observed in 1993. Replacing such previous discursive purifications, we increasingly find technoscientific visions of the imagined-possible as key providers of public meanings and policies. This poses the question of what forms of legitimation are constituted by these sciences, including the ways in which they enter into articulations of public matters...
February 2017: Public Understanding of Science
Luigi Pellizzoni
A common thread in the contributions to this special issue can be found in the Foucauldian notion of intensification. Technoscientific imaginaries and publics have long been embroiled; yet, elements of novelty in their relationship can be detected in the ambivalence of the overcoming of traditional purification work; the expanding production of 'prototypical' truths; the uncertain threshold between publics of enquirers, witnesses and lookouts; and the growing indistinction of the everyday and the sublime, of trivial and non-trivial futures...
February 2017: Public Understanding of Science
Kjetil Rommetveit, Brian Wynne
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
February 2017: Public Understanding of Science
Ana Delgado, Blanca Callén
In recent years, there has been an explosion of do it yourself, maker and hacker spaces in Europe. Through makers and do-it-yourself initiatives, 'hacking' is moving into the everyday life of citizens. This article explores the collective and political nature of those hacks by reporting on empirical work on electronic waste and do-it-yourself biology hacking. Using Dewey's experimental approach to politics, we analyse hacks as 'inquiry' to see how they serve to articulate public and political action. We argue that do-it-yourself and makers' hacks are technical and political demonstrations...
February 2017: Public Understanding of Science
Kate O'Riordan, Aristea Fotopoulou, Neil Stephens
In this article, we analyse a 2013 press conference hosting the world's first tasting of a laboratory grown hamburger. We explore this as a media event: an exceptional performative moment in which common meanings are mobilised and a connection to a shared centre of reality is offered. We develop our own theoretical contribution - the promotional public - to characterise the affirmative and partial patchwork of carefully selected actors invoked during the burger tasting. Our account draws on three areas of analysis: interview data with the scientists who developed the burger, media analysis of the streamed press conference itself and media analysis of social media during and following the event...
February 2017: Public Understanding of Science
Kaja Scheliga, Sascha Friesike, Cornelius Puschmann, Benedikt Fecher
Crowd science is scientific research that is conducted with the participation of volunteers who are not professional scientists. Thanks to the Internet and online platforms, project initiators can draw on a potentially large number of volunteers. This crowd can be involved to support data-rich or labour-intensive projects that would otherwise be unfeasible. So far, research on crowd science has mainly focused on analysing individual crowd science projects. In our research, we focus on the perspective of project initiators and explore how crowd science projects are set up...
November 29, 2016: Public Understanding of Science
Lisa Scharrer, Yvonne Rupieper, Marc Stadtler, Rainer Bromme
Science popularization fulfills the important task of making scientific knowledge understandable and accessible for the lay public. However, the simplification of information required to achieve this accessibility may lead to the risk of audiences relying overly strongly on their own epistemic capabilities when making judgments about scientific claims. Moreover, they may underestimate how the division of cognitive labor makes them dependent on experts. This article reports an empirical study demonstrating that this "easiness effect of science popularization" occurs when laypeople read authentic popularized science depictions...
November 29, 2016: Public Understanding of Science
Maureen Burns, Fabien Medvecky
In this article, we suggest that three concepts from cultural and media studies might be useful for analysing the ways audiences are constructed in science communication: that media are immanent to society, media are multiple and various, and audiences are active. This article uses those concepts, along with insights from Science and Technology Studies (STS), to examine the category of 'the disengaged' within science communication. This article deals with the contrast between 'common sense' and scholarly ideas of media and audiences in the field of cultural and media studies...
November 25, 2016: Public Understanding of Science
Hsiang-Fu Huang
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
November 21, 2016: Public Understanding of Science
Kelly Pender
Scholars have challenged the totalizing nature of the "geneticization thesis," arguing that its brushstrokes are too broad to capture the complicated nature of the new genetics. One such challenge has come from Nikolas Rose's argument that genetic medicine is governed by a new biopolitics in which patients understand themselves as "somatic individuals" who treat their bodies as an "ethical substance" to be worked on in order to secure a healthier future. I argue that Rose's argument, while compelling, paints the new genetics in equally broad brushstrokes and that in order for a concept like somatic individuality to become useful, we must study its manifestation across different communities of at-risk individuals...
November 21, 2016: Public Understanding of Science
Yves Laberge
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
November 2016: Public Understanding of Science
Jonathan Roberts
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
November 2016: Public Understanding of Science
Robert J Griffin
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
November 2016: Public Understanding of Science
Hans Peter Peters, Sharon Dunwoody
This introduction sets the stage for the special issue on the public communication of scientific uncertainty that follows by sketching the wider landscape of issues related to the communication of uncertainty and showing how the individual contributions fit into that landscape. The first part of the introduction discusses the creation of media content as a process involving journalists, scientific sources, stakeholders, and the responsive audience. The second part then provides an overview of the perception of scientific uncertainty presented by the media and the consequences for the recipients' own assessments of uncertainty...
November 2016: Public Understanding of Science
Dorothee Arlt, Jens Wolling
Based on a literature review on factors that explain media effects and previous findings on media coverage and public opinion on nuclear power, this article examines the effects of Fukushima on media coverage and public opinion in Germany in two studies. The first study uses content analysis data to analyse changes in media coverage, and the second one is based on panel survey data to examine attitude changes on an individual level. The results of both studies show changes in media coverage and public opinion on nuclear power...
October 2016: Public Understanding of Science
Carmen McLeod, Pru Hobson-West
The use of animals in scientific research represents an interesting case to consider in the context of the contemporary preoccupation with transparency and openness in science and governance. In the United Kingdom, organisations critical of animal research have long called for more openness. More recently, organisations involved in animal research also seem to be embracing transparency discourses. This article provides a detailed analysis of publically available documents from animal protection groups, the animal research community and government/research funders...
October 2016: Public Understanding of Science
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