PCST Network

Public Communication of Science and Technology


The Evolution of Public Understanding of Science

Luciano Guillermo Levin  

In this article we analyze the evolution of Public Understanding of Science field (PUS) through study the two major journals of this field: Public Understanding of Science y Science Communication. The main objective of the study is to look closely at the dynamic of the field using Martin Bauers´s periodization (2009). With Bibliographic Coupling techniques (Kessler, 1963; Grauwin y Jensen, 2011) we analyze relationships between papers using shared bibliographic references. We analyze 1200 articles of both journals extracted from Web of Science and we cross all the metadata (Authors, Journals, Title words, Keywords, Subjects, References, Referenced journals, Countries and Institutions). The relationships between this data give us a strong an very informative map of the field and using Bauer`s periodization, we can describe more precisely each period showing clearly the emergence and decay of topics and also changes in some "epistemic cluters". We also compare journals profile. Including all this data in a broader theoretical framework that includes the evolution of Social Studies of Science (Kreimer 2015), a field that has been considered close to PUS (Kreimer, 2015), we offer a more precise and data-based description of the evolution of the field. This is a working paper, we hope it was in their last stages for the meeting, where we hope to receive valuable comments References: Bauer, M. (2009). The evolution of public understanding of science discourse and comparative evidence. Science, Technology and Society, 14, 2, 221-240. Grauwin, S. & Jensen, P., 2011. Mapping scientific institutions. Scientometrics, 89(3) Kessler, M.M., 1963. Bibliographic coupling between scientific papers. American Documentation, 14(1), pp.10-25. Kreimer, P. 2015. Public understanding of science and social studies of science: convergence or parallel paths? In Le Marec, J. et al (eds.), Science Communication today. Current strategies and means of action. Editions Universitaires de Lorraine.

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