PCST Network

Public Communication of Science and Technology


A contextual approach as a method to promote debate and social engagement in science and technology issues

V. Mendizábal  

E. Sanfeliu  

S. Mendez  

The aim the present work was to take advantage of the social centres in which some urban communities are organized since they represent an interesting target to explore and develop new strategies to promote debate about science and technology (S&T) issues. In the framework of Science, Technology and Society movement, we designed a constructivistbased strategy to guide participants in identifying their opinions and provide a place to exchange, revise and debate their ideas about S&T issues. The question “Science, what for?”, as the conductive thread of the experience was chosen to challenge the traditional view stating that the public need to increase their scientific literacy simply to increase their knowledge. In contrast, the current study demonstrates that reflection about the nature of science can assist people in identifying themselves as important actors responsible for the consequences of scientific research and its technological applications. Thus, providing a powerful tool to achieve public engagement in S&T issues.

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