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Mar 20, 2009 Book Review
Scientists' virtues matter. More than ever

by Alessandro Delfanti

In his latest book “The scientific life. A moral history of a late modern vocation”, the social historian of science Steven Shapin addresses the public image of contemporary scientists, their virtues and vocations. Who are, and how they represent themselves, those scientists who work on the edge between industry and academy, and who are responsible for the radical uncertainty embedded in the contemporary production of scientific knowledge? If “people matter”, as Shapin states, the genealogy he provides should encourage us to dig more deeply in the main stage of the virtues and ethos of scientists: the mass media.

Volume 8 • Issue 01 • 2009

Dec 19, 2008 Book Review
How-to establish PCST. Two handbooks on science communication

by Alessandro Delfanti

In 2008 two collections were published: the Handbook of Public Communication of Science and Technology, edited by Massimiano Bucchi and Brian Trench, and Communicating Science in Social Contexts: New models, new practices, edited by Donghong Cheng and five other scholars from China, Canada, Belgium and Australia. These books try to define and draw the boundaries of science communication’s field from both a theoretical and empirical point of view. But do we need to establish it as a distinct research field? For a number of decades, a growing community of scholars and communicators is trying to reply positively to this question, but the need to look outside the disciplinary boundaries, to other academic fields, is still vital.

Volume 7 • Issue 04 • 2008

Sep 19, 2008 Book Review
Education and science museums. Reflections in Italy and on Italy

by Paola Rodari

The educational function of science museums was born with the first naturalistic collections ever, flourished in 16th-century Italy. The pedagogic thought and the educational experimentations carried out in approximately five century of history have allowed the educational mission of museums to acquire many different facets, drawing a task having an increasingly higher and complex social value. Recent publications explore these new meanings of an old role.

Volume 7 • Issue 03 • 2008

Dec 21, 2007 Book Review
It's science after all, Homer!

by Daniele Gouthier

Within just a few months, new releases in the world of publishing have seen two books dealing with science and The Simpsons, one published in the US and the other in Italy: last spring, What's science ever done for us? by Paul Halpern (John Wiley & Sons, New York 2007) and, this autumn, La scienza dei Simpson by Marco Malaspina (Sironi Editore, Milano 2007).

Volume 6 • Issue 04 • 2007

Sep 20, 2007 Book Review
Science and society of knowledge

by Pietro Greco

Probably among the first to deal with it, nearly sixty years ago, Norbert Wiener, the founding father of cybernetics (The human use of human beings. Cybernetics and Society, Houghton Mifflin Company, London, 1950), prefigured its opportunities, as well as its limitations. Today, it is a quite common belief. We have entered (are entering) a new, great era in the history of human society: the age of information and knowledge.

Volume 6 • Issue 03 • 2007

Jun 21, 2007 Book Review
History, science and society. Research on science in Italy in the modern and contemporary world

by Francesca Riccioni

The digitalization process of historical archives, which has been taking place over the past few years, shows that the study of history of science is undergoing major changes. Easier access to online resources (manuscripts, catalogues of scientific machinery and tools that would otherwise be virtually impossible to consult) has spurred and created the preconditions for the development of new quantitative methodologies in the study of history of science as well as the creation of international research groups.

Volume 6 • Issue 02 • 2007

Mar 21, 2007 Book Review
Jaap Willems and Winfried Goepfert (eds.), Science and the power of TV, VU University press and Da Vinci Institute, Amsterdam, 2006

by Matteo Merzagora

We live in a period where new media develops at amazing speed: the case of Youtube, becoming in few months one of the most visited website in the world, or the incredibly fast diffusion of audio and video podcasting, or the acquired relevance and authoritativeness of blogs in the dissemination of scientific information, are paradigmatic. Yet, there is little doubt that old media such as traditional television remain a reference for the largest sector of the population. Indeed, all surveys show that when dealing with scientific information, television remains the most relevant medium by a large majority of European (although in eastern Europe, due to a more trustful reputation, radio has also a particularly relevant position, and the internet is gaining favour among younger audiences).

Volume 6 • Issue 01 • 2007

Feb 02, 2006 Book Review
Science, Technology, and the public in the European Periphery

by Agustí Nieto-Galan and Faidra Papanelopoulou

From 1 to 3 June 2006, the 5th STEP Meeting devoted to the “Popularisation of Science and Technology in the European Periphery” was held in the city of Mahon in the island of Minorca (Spain). STEP ("Science and Technology in the European Periphery" []) was founded in Barcelona in 1999, and gathers around hundred historians of science from all over Europe with a special interest in the role of Science and Technology in countries that traditionally have not played a leading role in the advancement of science and technology. The main results of the 5th STEP meeting are presented in this paper.

Volume 5 • Issue 04 • 2006

Feb 02, 2006 Book Review
Newspaper space for science

by Marta M. Kanashiro

In recent years, courses, events and incentive programs for scientific journalism and the divulgation of science have proliferated in Brazil. Part of this context is “Sunday is science day, history of a supplement from the post-war years”, a book published this year that is based on the Master’s degree research of Bernardo Esteves, a journalist specialized in science.

Volume 5 • Issue 03 • 2006

Dec 21, 2005 Book Review
Opposing the “lessons of things”, for children and adults

by Flavia Natércia da Silva Medeiros

A review of two books recently published by Vieira & Lent, by the Casa da Ciência (House of Science) and by the Oswaldo Cruz Museu da Vida (Life Museum, Cruz/Fiocruz), "O Pequeno Cientista Amador – a divulgação científica e o público infantil", and "Terra Incógnita – a interface entre ciência e público" ("The Young Amateur Scientist - scientific divulgation and the youthful public", and "Unknown Land – the interface between science and the public") is presented.

Volume 4 • Issue 04 • 2005