Classical studies in Public Perception of Science mainly focus on the declarative aspects of interests and attitudes about S&T. We propose here an approach to investigate less explicit, underground aspects of public representation of science, which can play relevant role in public dialogue. We analyse, within a historical framework, qualitative data coming from semiotic analysis of focus groups with children and science images in the media. We show that at least three pre-scientific “sediments” are present, charged with mythical connotations about knowledge, and three modern ones about S&T, which interact today contributing to the construction of public representation of science.

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Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

Toward a "palaeontology" of public representation of science

Yurij Castelfranchi   School in Science Communication - SISSA-ISAS

Classical studies in Public Perception of Science mainly focus on the declarative aspects of interests and attitudes about S&T. We propose here an approach to investigate less explicit, underground aspects of public representation of science, which can play relevant role in public dialogue. We analyse, within a historical framework, qualitative data coming from semiotic analysis of focus groups with children and science images in the media. We show that at least three pre-scientific “sediments” are present, charged with mythical connotations about knowledge, and three modern ones about S&T, which interact today contributing to the construction of public representation of science.

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