Each day we face challenging advances of scientific and technological knowledge, with the increasing complexity of the universe they represent. How do we handle so many novelties
and new modes of survival? We lack time and even media to get to know, for example, the origin and quality of the products we consume. Besides, we are confronted with a great mass of information of different types, sources and quality that many times show uncertainties – like science itself – are contradictory or even wrong (1). Science in the media is increasing (above all subjects related to biomedicine) (2) but though information flux is really intense, it has worrying contradictions. Public perception of science is controversial. Many people are unaware of basic scientific notions (even directly related to
its daily life) but see scientific careers in a positive light; meanwhile their activity  enerates fears, false rumours and at the same time, enormous expectations of improvement in the quality of life (3). The general public is interested in science and demands more and better information; yet they consume few contents compared to others that have leading roles on TV, radio, newspapers or even the web (3)(4). Science is perceived as a complex kind of knowledge, and citizens face the need of adopting views and taking decisions without knowing the science behind or having enough understanding of new laws and regulations.This controversy leads to the question of “trusting the media” beyond our critical capacity. This is harder now, even for those with a good educational background. We live in a kind of “wild communication era” which is not contributing to solve the epistemological gaps in the public understanding of science. This is the subject of much debate (see for e.g. (11)).
It’s a social need to set up strategies to filter the mass of information and elaborate scientific communication policies with this problem in mind. The crucial task really, is to increase citizen’s ability to form critical points of view (specially managing trust in sources) in a frame of social awareness.Social construction of science has emerged and evolved in a cultural, political and economic context and the way in which science is mostly transmitted to the public reinforces previous concepts. Taking the example of exhibitions, Gregory J. Schneider points out that (6) “[…] the mode of display highlights the science that undergirds the thematic science content typically presented.”
More than ever we have to consider this fact from the basis. What is science, how does it work, and which limits and risks does it have? Each person has their own vision and should be able to think of examples of what science is and what is not. But even scientists don’tthink equally about this; in fact, we might find many scientists, science teachers, leaders and policy-makers that have barely thought about this issue.
It is worth mentioning we are not even considering the actual problem of “bad science” that is not only done in laboratories, but also transmitted sometimes even without scruples to the public as final truths (5).

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Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

Science Express Enjoyable triad
Expression, perception and public communication of science

Rocío Ramírez Paulino   Pompeu Fabra University, Barcelona

Each day we face challenging advances of scientific and technological knowledge, with the increasing complexity of the universe they represent. How do we handle so many novelties
and new modes of survival? We lack time and even media to get to know, for example, the origin and quality of the products we consume. Besides, we are confronted with a great mass of information of different types, sources and quality that many times show uncertainties – like science itself – are contradictory or even wrong (1). Science in the media is increasing (above all subjects related to biomedicine) (2) but though information flux is really intense, it has worrying contradictions. Public perception of science is controversial. Many people are unaware of basic scientific notions (even directly related to
its daily life) but see scientific careers in a positive light; meanwhile their activity  enerates fears, false rumours and at the same time, enormous expectations of improvement in the quality of life (3). The general public is interested in science and demands more and better information; yet they consume few contents compared to others that have leading roles on TV, radio, newspapers or even the web (3)(4). Science is perceived as a complex kind of knowledge, and citizens face the need of adopting views and taking decisions without knowing the science behind or having enough understanding of new laws and regulations.This controversy leads to the question of “trusting the media” beyond our critical capacity. This is harder now, even for those with a good educational background. We live in a kind of “wild communication era” which is not contributing to solve the epistemological gaps in the public understanding of science. This is the subject of much debate (see for e.g. (11)).
It’s a social need to set up strategies to filter the mass of information and elaborate scientific communication policies with this problem in mind. The crucial task really, is to increase citizen’s ability to form critical points of view (specially managing trust in sources) in a frame of social awareness.Social construction of science has emerged and evolved in a cultural, political and economic context and the way in which science is mostly transmitted to the public reinforces previous concepts. Taking the example of exhibitions, Gregory J. Schneider points out that (6) “[…] the mode of display highlights the science that undergirds the thematic science content typically presented.”
More than ever we have to consider this fact from the basis. What is science, how does it work, and which limits and risks does it have? Each person has their own vision and should be able to think of examples of what science is and what is not. But even scientists don’tthink equally about this; in fact, we might find many scientists, science teachers, leaders and policy-makers that have barely thought about this issue.
It is worth mentioning we are not even considering the actual problem of “bad science” that is not only done in laboratories, but also transmitted sometimes even without scruples to the public as final truths (5).

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