The present paper is part of an ongoing research project that seeks to establish the characteristics needed for the construction of new spaces to democratize science. Originally, we focused the study on ‘science gardens’, but very soon it became evident the need for the development of a science communication framework. Background literature review on preexisting science communication models indicates two main trends. One trend bases the model on political or ideological grounds, while the other one bases it on cognition patterns, which are common for all human beings. Although cognitive theories, borrowed from psychology or anthropology, are understood to be generally applicable to all humans, they can also be chosen in order to justify a specific ideology underneath a model. Particularly, when people are in the process of forming an opinion, research suggests that it can occur in the absence of relevant scientific or policy-related information (i.e. cognitive miser model). Also, in some instances, these models were only pertinent to the societies where they were first developed for, not general enough to be applicable to other cultural contexts. In order to consider Science Communication as a consolidated discipline, we need to develop general theories and models. We thus propose an ‘intercultural science communication model’, where culture is mostly understood as a language (symbols with a logical order) and science communication as a process between two ways of expressing knowledge: a technical language of science and an everyday language. In this way, a trans-cultural space is formed enabling researchers and diverse publics to engage in various conversations, exchanges, and interventions. This intercultural exchange is undoubtedly a participative process as it is dialogue among scientist, science communicators and society. Within this approach we refer to the so called dual model for cognitive processes, where two ways of learning and remembering are combined. Often, the two processes consist of an implicit (automatic), unconscious process and an explicit (controlled), conscious process. We will describe our proposed model and provide examples on its applicability.

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Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

A proposal for an intercultural science communication model to democratize science

Elena Salazar   Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México

Julia Tagüeña   Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México

The present paper is part of an ongoing research project that seeks to establish the characteristics needed for the construction of new spaces to democratize science. Originally, we focused the study on ‘science gardens’, but very soon it became evident the need for the development of a science communication framework. Background literature review on preexisting science communication models indicates two main trends. One trend bases the model on political or ideological grounds, while the other one bases it on cognition patterns, which are common for all human beings. Although cognitive theories, borrowed from psychology or anthropology, are understood to be generally applicable to all humans, they can also be chosen in order to justify a specific ideology underneath a model. Particularly, when people are in the process of forming an opinion, research suggests that it can occur in the absence of relevant scientific or policy-related information (i.e. cognitive miser model). Also, in some instances, these models were only pertinent to the societies where they were first developed for, not general enough to be applicable to other cultural contexts. In order to consider Science Communication as a consolidated discipline, we need to develop general theories and models. We thus propose an ‘intercultural science communication model’, where culture is mostly understood as a language (symbols with a logical order) and science communication as a process between two ways of expressing knowledge: a technical language of science and an everyday language. In this way, a trans-cultural space is formed enabling researchers and diverse publics to engage in various conversations, exchanges, and interventions. This intercultural exchange is undoubtedly a participative process as it is dialogue among scientist, science communicators and society. Within this approach we refer to the so called dual model for cognitive processes, where two ways of learning and remembering are combined. Often, the two processes consist of an implicit (automatic), unconscious process and an explicit (controlled), conscious process. We will describe our proposed model and provide examples on its applicability.

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

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