When knowledge, arisen from science, is marketed like a product through mass media (such as newspapers, non specialized / variety magazines, radio and TV news), the emphasis is often put on the promotion of its practical usefulness. While this may be the case in many instances, I believe it is a mistake to show the scientific process, and its outcomes, just (or mainly) from this pragmatic point of view, emerged from the assumption that only in this way the public will be interested in that information. Such approach undermines, in the first place, the relevance of basic research, whose usefulness cannot be always directly appreciated.
Based on the idea that the purpose of science popularization, more than loading peoples heads with a bunch of data, is to open an opportunity window for their curiosity and their wish for more learning, I will contend that a greater attention should be paid to the aesthetics of science communication; that there should be a higher effort to bring attractiveness on it, highlighting at the same time the intrinsic beauty of the subjects and contents of science itself (and even those of technology).
Accordingly, and with arguments and third-party evidences taken from a new branch of neurosciences (i.e., Neuroaesthetics), I will introduce the hypothesis that, in so doing, the message could be got in a more natural and immediate fashion, with the direct effect of better capturing the people interest. Likewise, another consequence could be that, for the aforesaid reason, a broader use of aesthetics in the popularization of science – appealing to beauty, but also to humor or to some kind of wonderment – could become a bridging language to overcome some divergences or disparities in the understanding of science among different groups of society.
Therefore, without a detraction from the guidelines that should govern science communication – adherence to facts, confirmation of the legitimacy and credibility of sources, presentation of the skeptical claims, questionings or objections from other members of the scientific community – and with the aim to emphasize science as a process, it is also advisable to take care of the shape, stressing the value of science also through the intrinsic beauty of its events, phenomena and process. In a word, I would like to establish that besides the importance of communicating that science is useful, it is also pivotal to show (and even make feel) that it is plenty of beauty.
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Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

Get people be trapped by beauty into science!

Veronica Guerrero-Mothelet   Free-lance Science Writer. Staff writer for the General Direction of Science Popularization, Universidad Autonoma de la Ciudad de Mexico. Consultant and Writer of Scientific Content for TV Channel Once, Instituto Politecnico Nacional.

When knowledge, arisen from science, is marketed like a product through mass media (such as newspapers, non specialized / variety magazines, radio and TV news), the emphasis is often put on the promotion of its practical usefulness. While this may be the case in many instances, I believe it is a mistake to show the scientific process, and its outcomes, just (or mainly) from this pragmatic point of view, emerged from the assumption that only in this way the public will be interested in that information. Such approach undermines, in the first place, the relevance of basic research, whose usefulness cannot be always directly appreciated.
Based on the idea that the purpose of science popularization, more than loading peoples heads with a bunch of data, is to open an opportunity window for their curiosity and their wish for more learning, I will contend that a greater attention should be paid to the aesthetics of science communication; that there should be a higher effort to bring attractiveness on it, highlighting at the same time the intrinsic beauty of the subjects and contents of science itself (and even those of technology).
Accordingly, and with arguments and third-party evidences taken from a new branch of neurosciences (i.e., Neuroaesthetics), I will introduce the hypothesis that, in so doing, the message could be got in a more natural and immediate fashion, with the direct effect of better capturing the people interest. Likewise, another consequence could be that, for the aforesaid reason, a broader use of aesthetics in the popularization of science – appealing to beauty, but also to humor or to some kind of wonderment – could become a bridging language to overcome some divergences or disparities in the understanding of science among different groups of society.
Therefore, without a detraction from the guidelines that should govern science communication – adherence to facts, confirmation of the legitimacy and credibility of sources, presentation of the skeptical claims, questionings or objections from other members of the scientific community – and with the aim to emphasize science as a process, it is also advisable to take care of the shape, stressing the value of science also through the intrinsic beauty of its events, phenomena and process. In a word, I would like to establish that besides the importance of communicating that science is useful, it is also pivotal to show (and even make feel) that it is plenty of beauty.

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