Post-World War II has witnessed several dozen science communication organizations in both developed and developing countries. Science communication organizations are distinguished by their explicit mission to seek ways to use science for the benefit of the public and by their connections to social movements. While science communication organizations have been around for a century by now (the American Association of Scientific Workers was founded in 1918), in recent years several newer organizations emerged with a focus on environment, science, education, health, and justice. Science communication organizations are generally located outside the government, often in opposition to government policies. Some pursue confrontational politics associated with participatory research in direct opposition to “mainstream” science. Others tend to reform-minded advocacy and sometimes in specific policy contexts. Even some are more successful than others. Success here is seen as a function of how clearly organizational goals are defined and how effectively its available resources – financial, human, professional, and communication – are used for mobilizing support so that the established institutions take seriously the aims expressed by the movement. Yet, there is any systematic attempt to analyze the role of science communication organizations in mobilizing resources. This paper intends to investigate questions such as: What is the relevance of resource mobilization theory (RMT) in science communication and public understanding of science? Why do we consider RMT, an appropriate perspective to study science communication? Our paper explores these research questions and examines them within a localized context (e.g. Maharasthra, an western-Indian state) through the lens of science communication organization (e.g. MVP: Marathi Vigyan Parishad). Our analysis is based on the gathered data through participant observations, face-to-face open-ended interviews (with various actors of MVP), guided by a pre-designed and tested questionnaire, combing websites and printed documents of the MVP (1966-2005).

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Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

The mobilization of resources for science communication movement
Evidence from india

Subhasis Sahoo   National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER)

Binay Pattnaik   Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur

Post-World War II has witnessed several dozen science communication organizations in both developed and developing countries. Science communication organizations are distinguished by their explicit mission to seek ways to use science for the benefit of the public and by their connections to social movements. While science communication organizations have been around for a century by now (the American Association of Scientific Workers was founded in 1918), in recent years several newer organizations emerged with a focus on environment, science, education, health, and justice. Science communication organizations are generally located outside the government, often in opposition to government policies. Some pursue confrontational politics associated with participatory research in direct opposition to “mainstream” science. Others tend to reform-minded advocacy and sometimes in specific policy contexts. Even some are more successful than others. Success here is seen as a function of how clearly organizational goals are defined and how effectively its available resources – financial, human, professional, and communication – are used for mobilizing support so that the established institutions take seriously the aims expressed by the movement. Yet, there is any systematic attempt to analyze the role of science communication organizations in mobilizing resources. This paper intends to investigate questions such as: What is the relevance of resource mobilization theory (RMT) in science communication and public understanding of science? Why do we consider RMT, an appropriate perspective to study science communication? Our paper explores these research questions and examines them within a localized context (e.g. Maharasthra, an western-Indian state) through the lens of science communication organization (e.g. MVP: Marathi Vigyan Parishad). Our analysis is based on the gathered data through participant observations, face-to-face open-ended interviews (with various actors of MVP), guided by a pre-designed and tested questionnaire, combing websites and printed documents of the MVP (1966-2005).

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

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