Communication in the scientists' education in the XXI Century



While knowledge-society is developing all around the world, science seems to be loosing its historical prestige in public perception, scientific vocations are declining among young people, "limit" on science is common subject of daily politics, research freedom is questioned in front of public good, scientists are dragged in front of public opinion. As a consequence, scientists are to be skilled in science communication. But communicating science is no more matter of "translating" scholar knowledge into lay language (popularization); it is mainly matter of crossing barriers of fundamental attitudes, understanding daily-life ends, sharing future scenarios and cultural values, becoming responsible for the societal dimension of science. Moreover, while confronting the coming Big Convergence (among nanosciences, bio-medical sciences, information and communication-sciences, neuro-cognitive sciences), science itself is called to cross barriers among disciplines, distinctions between pure and applied science, academic and industrial research, science and technology, etc. However, such crossovers are challenging for present education of scientists. The governance of the democratic knowledge-society not only demands more scientific education among citizens, but also a general revision of highest scientific curricula. What are the goals for educating scientists to public responsibility and participation? What are conceivable ways for joining the "two cultures" and integrating curricula? What cross-fertilizations are conceivable between natural and social sciences, scientific and humanistic education, specialised and more general formation?


21 June 2005