What aspects of science knowledge are important and relevant to workers who have migrated from rural areas to urban centers to find work? These workers constitute a large and important group in China, because they are powering much of the increasing industrialization and urbanization of China. They are a focus of Chinese government efforts to improve science literacy as a component in improving their job opportunities, income, and informed decision making. We used a national survey instrument on science literacy as a point of reference, as well as questions in several other categories of scientific knowledge, to assess what kinds of science information are of particular interest and relevance to these workers. The significance of this initial study is both substantive and methodological. The substantive aspect is a better understanding of the perceived needs and receptivity of this population to science communication efforts intended to improve science literacy. The methodological aspect is in developing ways to connect with this target population and developing and testing appropriate protocols and metrics. We will present our findings from studies from two urban areas in the heavily industrialized region of Guandong province. This is the locus of most of the manufacturing activity in China and, indeed for much of the world. We will describe our plans for further research on the urban workers and their counterparts in the rural villages from which they migrated.

This study was conducted by the Center for the Public, Science, and Sustainability Studies, established at Sun Yat‐Sen University (SYSU) in Guangzhou, China by the Chinese Research Institute for Science Popularization (CRISP), the School of Government at SYSU, and the Göteborg Center for Public Learning and Understanding of Science (GCPLUS) at Chalmers University of Technology and Göteborg University, Sweden.

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Relevance of science communication to migrant workers in urban China

Jin Wang   Sun Yat‐Sen University

Ilan Chabay   GCPLUS, Sweden

Ling Chen   CRISP,China

What aspects of science knowledge are important and relevant to workers who have migrated from rural areas to urban centers to find work? These workers constitute a large and important group in China, because they are powering much of the increasing industrialization and urbanization of China. They are a focus of Chinese government efforts to improve science literacy as a component in improving their job opportunities, income, and informed decision making. We used a national survey instrument on science literacy as a point of reference, as well as questions in several other categories of scientific knowledge, to assess what kinds of science information are of particular interest and relevance to these workers. The significance of this initial study is both substantive and methodological. The substantive aspect is a better understanding of the perceived needs and receptivity of this population to science communication efforts intended to improve science literacy. The methodological aspect is in developing ways to connect with this target population and developing and testing appropriate protocols and metrics. We will present our findings from studies from two urban areas in the heavily industrialized region of Guandong province. This is the locus of most of the manufacturing activity in China and, indeed for much of the world. We will describe our plans for further research on the urban workers and their counterparts in the rural villages from which they migrated.

This study was conducted by the Center for the Public, Science, and Sustainability Studies, established at Sun Yat‐Sen University (SYSU) in Guangzhou, China by the Chinese Research Institute for Science Popularization (CRISP), the School of Government at SYSU, and the Göteborg Center for Public Learning and Understanding of Science (GCPLUS) at Chalmers University of Technology and Göteborg University, Sweden.

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

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