The paper is aimed to present the results of the Italian research project "Scienza. Come é fatto chi la fa?" (Science: How is who does it?) realized during last year.

The project meant to shed light on the perception that young students nowadays have of people working in science. Theoretically, the research is referring to the Social Representation approach, using DAST (Draw A Scientist Test) integrated with some new elements.

In fact students attending primary and lower secondary school (6 – 13 years of age) all over Italy were asked to draw a person working in science; they has been distributed in three sub‐sample, the first having to draw a scientist, the second an astronomer, and the third a chemist. The choice of three different science’s characters is meant to understand whether and, eventually, how young people represent them in different ways.

A content analysis, with a grid of about 60 parameters, has been used for analyzing each drawing. Besides, students were asked to fill a questionnaire, containing information about their social and cultural background, so that it became possible to investigate whether differences in representing scientists, astronomers and chemists can be connected with specific features of students.

The collected drawings and questionnaires represent nearly 1000 students. The data collected allowed to investigate which recurrent elements, metaphors and stereotypes can be identified and where they come from.

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Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

Science
How is who does it?
Social representations of scientists in Italian young students

Federico Neresini   University of Padova

Caterina Boccato   INAF

Leopoldo Benacchio   INAF

Angela Turricchia   Municipality of Bologna

Chiara Benedetto   INAF

The paper is aimed to present the results of the Italian research project "Scienza. Come é fatto chi la fa?" (Science: How is who does it?) realized during last year.

The project meant to shed light on the perception that young students nowadays have of people working in science. Theoretically, the research is referring to the Social Representation approach, using DAST (Draw A Scientist Test) integrated with some new elements.

In fact students attending primary and lower secondary school (6 – 13 years of age) all over Italy were asked to draw a person working in science; they has been distributed in three sub‐sample, the first having to draw a scientist, the second an astronomer, and the third a chemist. The choice of three different science’s characters is meant to understand whether and, eventually, how young people represent them in different ways.

A content analysis, with a grid of about 60 parameters, has been used for analyzing each drawing. Besides, students were asked to fill a questionnaire, containing information about their social and cultural background, so that it became possible to investigate whether differences in representing scientists, astronomers and chemists can be connected with specific features of students.

The collected drawings and questionnaires represent nearly 1000 students. The data collected allowed to investigate which recurrent elements, metaphors and stereotypes can be identified and where they come from.

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

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