This presentation aims to discuss the public understanding of science and technology, namely, it aims to question the last quarter of the XXth century astronomy, in Portuguese popular newspapers.

The space oddity it is, probably, the most popular face of astronomic knowledge, but there is much more about astronomy in popular newspapers.

Taking astronomy published in national newspapers has representative and source of the whole astronomy media coverage, this presentation goal it is to build a portrait of astronomy media coverage, between 1976 and 1999.

It seems clear that for scientific activity to be understood, the communication of science plays a central role. This “popular astronomy” it is a good measure of lay people astronomy knowledge.

The representation of science by the mass media possesses, thus autonomy before the scientific activity playing, relatively to this, different social functions.

This period was marked by huge progresses in astronomic knowledge. In this period, the world lived crucial events, such as: energy crisis, the end of cold war, the end of the Soviet Union, the beginning of new space oddities and new astronomic knowledge. The analysis of popular newspaper coverage can give important information about our common popular idea of astronomy.

Based on, a quantitative and qualitative, analysis of randomly selected 576 newspaper editions (2 per month, along the whole period) of a major national popular Portuguese newspaper, this presentation develops a portrait of what has been the media coverage of astronomy, and discusses trends and transitions, between 1976 and 1999.

This discussion it is a chapter of a wider research that aims to discuss and characterize the presence of science and technology in the Portuguese newspapers, supported by FCT -Foundation for Science and Technology.

">
 [PCST]
PCST Network

Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

Astronomy in popular newspapers in the end of the XXth century.

Rui Fonseca   CIES-ISCTE

This presentation aims to discuss the public understanding of science and technology, namely, it aims to question the last quarter of the XXth century astronomy, in Portuguese popular newspapers.

The space oddity it is, probably, the most popular face of astronomic knowledge, but there is much more about astronomy in popular newspapers.

Taking astronomy published in national newspapers has representative and source of the whole astronomy media coverage, this presentation goal it is to build a portrait of astronomy media coverage, between 1976 and 1999.

It seems clear that for scientific activity to be understood, the communication of science plays a central role. This “popular astronomy” it is a good measure of lay people astronomy knowledge.

The representation of science by the mass media possesses, thus autonomy before the scientific activity playing, relatively to this, different social functions.

This period was marked by huge progresses in astronomic knowledge. In this period, the world lived crucial events, such as: energy crisis, the end of cold war, the end of the Soviet Union, the beginning of new space oddities and new astronomic knowledge. The analysis of popular newspaper coverage can give important information about our common popular idea of astronomy.

Based on, a quantitative and qualitative, analysis of randomly selected 576 newspaper editions (2 per month, along the whole period) of a major national popular Portuguese newspaper, this presentation develops a portrait of what has been the media coverage of astronomy, and discusses trends and transitions, between 1976 and 1999.

This discussion it is a chapter of a wider research that aims to discuss and characterize the presence of science and technology in the Portuguese newspapers, supported by FCT -Foundation for Science and Technology.

A copy of the full paper has not yet been submitted.

BACK TO TOP