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Jun 03, 2024 Essay
Scientific temper: towards an alternate model of science-society relationships

by Siddharth Kankaria and Anwesha Chakraborty

Scientific temper, a mainstay in Indian science policies and science communication/education programmes, conceptualises citizens as scientifically conscious and powerful agents that approach societal issues with a rational and critical mind rather than taking refuge in religious, superstitious and pseudoscientific worldviews. Our essay provides a brief history of this term and compares it with existing science communication models to demonstrate how, despite sharing commonalities, it is distinct from models like deficit, dialogue, and participation. We elucidate how scientific temper fosters critical features like a process-oriented approach, reflexivity, democratisation of scientific expertise and being a potential tool for decolonisation. Lastly, we propose scientific temper as an alternate framework for democratising knowledge-making and -sharing, building an engaged deliberative citizenry, and studying science-society relationships overall.

Volume 23 • Issue 04 • 2024 • Special Issue: Science communication for social justice

Apr 22, 2024 Book Review
Through the `queering' glass: looking at science communication from a queer lens

by Siddharth Kankaria

`Queering Science Communication' offers a kaleidoscopic collection of queer insights that both inform and question the field of science communication. Edited by Lindy A. Orthia and Tara Roberson, the book covers a diverse range of topics including LGBTQIA+ representation in science and science communication; examples of science engagement interventions designed for queer audiences; the positive and negative impacts of science (communication) on queer lives; as well as ways of queering the practice, research and teaching of science communication. Despite adopting a predominantly queer lens, this book offers various learnings for engaging a broader spectrum of marginalised identities and for eventually moving towards a more inclusive, pluralistic and reflexive science communication field.

Volume 23 • Issue 03 • 2024

Mar 25, 2024 Practice Insight
Teaching to bridge research and practice: perspectives from science communication educators across the world

by Siddharth Kankaria, Alice Fleerackers, Edith Escalón, Erik Stengler, Clare Wilkinson and Tobias Kreutzer

Despite growing awareness of the need to bridge research and practice in science communication, methods of facilitating meaningful interactions between them remain elusive. This practice insight explores how teaching efforts can help to fill this gap. Drawing on case studies from the U.S., U.K., Canada, Germany, India, and Mexico, six instructors offer examples of pedagogical strategies that they have found effective in bridging the two domains — such as fostering partnerships with local science communication practitioners, using dialogic and participatory approaches to build communities of learning and practice, encouraging reflexivity and epistemic humility, and drawing connections with local contexts.

Volume 23 • Issue 02 • 2024 • Special Issue: Connecting science communication research and practice: challenges and ways forward