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Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

The cultural importance of science communication and disclosure

Enrico Catalano  

The main issue of this work is that science communication and science disclosure necessarily involve and include different cultural orientations and interests. There is a substantial body of work showing that cultural differences in values and epistemological frameworks are paralleled with cultural differences reflected in artifacts, customs and public representations. One dimension of cultural difference is the psychological and perceptive distance between humans and the rest of nature.

Another is perspective taking and attention to context and relationships that impact on the perception of science communication. As an example of distance, most (Western) images of ecosystems do not include human beings, and European American discourse tends to position human beings as being apart from nature up to control it. Native American discourse, in contrast, tends to describe humans beings as a part of nature. We have traced the correspondences between cultural properties of media and social networks, focusing on children's books, and cultural differences in biological cognition.

Finally, implications for both science communication and science education are outlined and clarified.

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

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