PCST Network

Public Communication of Science and Technology


Growing specialisation and community needs

Pierre Fayard  

Since science and technology are acting as major forces for the transformation of society, popularisation aims to fill the gap between specialists and non-specialists. By now, the importance of this political project is re-inforced by the current process of globalisation that actualiy destroys social, cultural and social links between the heterogeous components of society. Since the seventies in Western Europe : instead of putting the main focus on scientific contents, the new practices of PCST tend to lean on public demands to choose and to design both topics and strategies. Corporate and communication logics reinforce that process between the ivory towers of scientific research and society. No longer the classical issues about the abilities of popularisation to translate or to betray science are going on. Leaving direct strategies, indirect models of acting use bottom-up approaches based on double step flow logics, to spread widely PCST and to rebuild the social and cognitive links between specialised and non-specialised areas.

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