PCST Network

Public Communication of Science and Technology


Science communication and epistemic justice.

Fabien Medvecky  

Science communication, as a field and as a practice, is fundamentally about knowledge distribution; it is about the access to, and the sharing of knowledge. All distribution (science communication including) brings with is issues of ethics and justice. Indeed, whether science communicators acknowledge it or not, they get to decide both which knowledge is shared (by choosing which topic they communicate), and who gets access to this knowledge (by choosing which audience they engage with). As a result, the decisions of science communicators have important implications for epistemic justice: how knowledge is distributed fairly and equitably. In this paper, I present an overview of issues related to epistemic justice for science communication, and argue that there are two quite distinct ways in which we can be just (or unjust) in the way we distribute knowledge as science communicators. I consider both these path and conclude that, at least on one of these accounts, science communication as a field and as a practice is fundamentally epistemically unjust. This leads me to consider suggestions to redress this injustice.

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