Popular discourse about science and technology is too often described as a degraded, diminished simulacrum of specialist discourse. In this light, media contexts other than news (e.g. fiction) are also frequently neglected by scholars and practitioners in the PCST field. The paper uses the example of pop music to describe how the rich articulation of popular culture with regard to science and technology can interact in non linear, unpredictable ways with specialist knowledge. Pop music can thus become a significant source for understanding images and visions of science; examples can be provided of how the uses and appropriation of science issues and social meanings of science and technology in this context – from the ‘de-evolutionary’ theory underlining Devo’s pop songs to Kraftwerk’s ‘man machine’ ideology - have often preceded more explicit concerns for the implications of science and technology which have later become visible in other contexts like the news media.

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Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

Before and after science
Science and technology in pop music, 1970-1990

Massimiano Bucchi   Universit√ɬ† di Trento

Popular discourse about science and technology is too often described as a degraded, diminished simulacrum of specialist discourse. In this light, media contexts other than news (e.g. fiction) are also frequently neglected by scholars and practitioners in the PCST field. The paper uses the example of pop music to describe how the rich articulation of popular culture with regard to science and technology can interact in non linear, unpredictable ways with specialist knowledge. Pop music can thus become a significant source for understanding images and visions of science; examples can be provided of how the uses and appropriation of science issues and social meanings of science and technology in this context – from the ‘de-evolutionary’ theory underlining Devo’s pop songs to Kraftwerk’s ‘man machine’ ideology - have often preceded more explicit concerns for the implications of science and technology which have later become visible in other contexts like the news media.

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