This paper divides into 4 parts, first portrays the development of the iodine salt rush-purchasing in China, second describes the response of media and academic opinions, third makes an analysis from the dimension of science communication, and last draws some conclusions. After the 3.11 earthquake in Japan, , especially when the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear accident happened, a big panic arose suddenly among many Chinese people who crashed into every supermarket to buy iodine salt and bought dozens of kilograms to tons of salt to their homes, which looked just like a real disaster happened in China too. Media and scholars gave many analysis and reflections. The main opinion was Chinese people have so low level of scientific literacy that they couldn’t judge the right (scientific) way to face this emergency. The iodine salt rush-purchasing tide in China is a very good case of science communication of public concerning disaster. From the public behavior of iodine salt rush- purchasing, general people showed their own rationalism: got a psychological sense of safety by a relative lower cost—several bags of salt, which obviously shows that public had their own ways to deal with emergency which maybe not so scientific. Today science is so deeply and broadly concerned with almost any side of our society, science communication does not mean communication science itself—the scientific knowledge, data, facts, theories (science literacy) are often not enough for complicated and concrete needs of every individual person, it’s why we could observe that some people in USA and Russia who are thought have much more higher level of scientific literacy than Chinese people, also crashed to buy iodine table and salt during the same days. As a result, we have to admit that nowadays science communication does not mean just to improve the so called scientific literacy of public and then every thing would be Ok. In conclusions, the relative lower level of scientific literacy of Chinese people is not the only or main reason for the iodine salt rush-purchasing tide in China. The orientation of science communication should be changed from a traditional education model to a new service one: instead of asking public to improve so called scientific literacy, it’s quite suitable to establish an efficient feed back mechanism of meeting various and practical needs of public from material benefits, recreation expectation, to democracy right concerning science issues in modern society.

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Is science communication for scientific literacy
Iodine salt rush-purchasing tide in China

Xiaomin Zhu   Peking University, China

This paper divides into 4 parts, first portrays the development of the iodine salt rush-purchasing in China, second describes the response of media and academic opinions, third makes an analysis from the dimension of science communication, and last draws some conclusions. After the 3.11 earthquake in Japan, , especially when the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear accident happened, a big panic arose suddenly among many Chinese people who crashed into every supermarket to buy iodine salt and bought dozens of kilograms to tons of salt to their homes, which looked just like a real disaster happened in China too. Media and scholars gave many analysis and reflections. The main opinion was Chinese people have so low level of scientific literacy that they couldn’t judge the right (scientific) way to face this emergency. The iodine salt rush-purchasing tide in China is a very good case of science communication of public concerning disaster. From the public behavior of iodine salt rush- purchasing, general people showed their own rationalism: got a psychological sense of safety by a relative lower cost—several bags of salt, which obviously shows that public had their own ways to deal with emergency which maybe not so scientific. Today science is so deeply and broadly concerned with almost any side of our society, science communication does not mean communication science itself—the scientific knowledge, data, facts, theories (science literacy) are often not enough for complicated and concrete needs of every individual person, it’s why we could observe that some people in USA and Russia who are thought have much more higher level of scientific literacy than Chinese people, also crashed to buy iodine table and salt during the same days. As a result, we have to admit that nowadays science communication does not mean just to improve the so called scientific literacy of public and then every thing would be Ok. In conclusions, the relative lower level of scientific literacy of Chinese people is not the only or main reason for the iodine salt rush-purchasing tide in China. The orientation of science communication should be changed from a traditional education model to a new service one: instead of asking public to improve so called scientific literacy, it’s quite suitable to establish an efficient feed back mechanism of meeting various and practical needs of public from material benefits, recreation expectation, to democracy right concerning science issues in modern society.

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