The participatory role of women and the value of indigenous knowledge systems are often ignored during debates by science communicators. This is especially the case when such communication becomes focused on technology. There are currently three definitions concerned with the characterization of technology. The first considers technology as hardware in the form of tools and hardware, based on the way engineers and designers will look at it. The second sees technology as rules whereby technology involves patterns and means-end relationships -such as encountered when 'software' and 'hardware' set the parameters. The means end patterns develop in 'rationalize' structures as identified by Weber and Ellul in rule governed systems -such as in bureaucracies. The third is technology as system where collaborative interaction between man and machine is crucial for the operation and functioning of such technology.

This presentation will explore the complexity of efficient science communication when one considers the complexity of technology per se. With the focus on women who are considered to be a marginalized group in technological interaction I will argue for not only a better understanding of ethno-science (IKS) and technology but I want to raise issues about the role of rationality in technology and the nature of technology itself.

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Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

Communicatiing Technology

Hester Plessis   University of Johannesburg

The participatory role of women and the value of indigenous knowledge systems are often ignored during debates by science communicators. This is especially the case when such communication becomes focused on technology. There are currently three definitions concerned with the characterization of technology. The first considers technology as hardware in the form of tools and hardware, based on the way engineers and designers will look at it. The second sees technology as rules whereby technology involves patterns and means-end relationships -such as encountered when 'software' and 'hardware' set the parameters. The means end patterns develop in 'rationalize' structures as identified by Weber and Ellul in rule governed systems -such as in bureaucracies. The third is technology as system where collaborative interaction between man and machine is crucial for the operation and functioning of such technology.

This presentation will explore the complexity of efficient science communication when one considers the complexity of technology per se. With the focus on women who are considered to be a marginalized group in technological interaction I will argue for not only a better understanding of ethno-science (IKS) and technology but I want to raise issues about the role of rationality in technology and the nature of technology itself.

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