The crisis of the "Public Understanding of Science" in Great Britain



In a brief article published by Science1 last October, British scientists stated that the expression "Public Understanding of Science" (PUS), which was traditionally employed in Anglosaxon societies to refer to the issue of the relationship between science, technology and society, is out-of-date. It should be replaced by "Public Engagement with Science and Technology" (PEST), a new acronym that clearly invites to reconceptualise the relationship between science and the public. The new approach involves the engagement of the public or rather the publics of science, through dialogue, in particular through an open and equal-to-equal discussion between scientists and non-experts that would enable non-experts to become the actual protagonists in the scientific decisions producing social effects.


21 March 2003