Those studying the public understanding of science and risk perception have held it clear for long: the relation between information and judgment elaboration is not a linear one at all. Among the reasons behind it, on the one hand, data never are totally “bare” and culturally neutral; on the other hand, in formulating a judgment having some value, the analytic component intertwines – sometimes unpredictably – with the cultural history and the personal elaboration of anyone of us.
Basing mainly on author's direct involvement in some science communication efforts in India, and other reports, this contribution depicts and analyses the present science communication/ popularization scenario in India. It tries to dispel a myth that rural people don't require or don’t crave for S&T information. It discusses need for science and technology communication, sustaining curiosity and creating role models. Citing cases of some natural, 'unnatural' and organized events, it recounts how S&T popularization efforts have fared during the past decade and a half. It's made possible using print, AV and interactive media which, at times, require lot of financial inputs. However, this contribution shows that a number of natural and other phenomena can be used to convince people about power of S&T and in molding their attitude. The cases cited may be from India, but, with a little variation, are true for most of the developing and under- developed societies.
The rapid spread of technologies involving the application of “Genetic Modification (GM)” raised the need for science communication on this new technology in society. To consider the communication on GM in the society, an understanding of the current mass media is required. This paper shows the whole picture of newspaper discourses on GM in Japan. For the Japanese public, newspapers represent one of the major sources of information on GM. We subjected the two Japanese newspapers with the largest circulation, the Asahi Shimbun and Yomiuri Shimbun, to an analysis of the full text of approximately 4000 articles on GM published over the past to perform an assessment of the change of reportage on GM. As for the most important results, our analysis shows that there are two significant shifts with respect to the major topics addressed in articles on GM by Japanese newspapers.
This article presents an example of how a public science party was evaluated. The main goals of the science party, to increase the positive image of science and present an attractive science event, were evaluated in two ways. First, web surveys were used to determine the image of science before and after the event among paying visitors, invited guests, and a control group (N = 149). Second, during the event, visitors were interviewed about their experiences at the event (N = 124). The survey study showed that the image of science was very positive among all three groups of respondents. As no differences were found between pre- and post-tests, participation in the event did not lead to a more positive image of science. The results of the interviews suggested that visitors highly appreciated the event. In the Discussion, the evaluation study is analyzed and possibilities/limitations for future general use are discussed.
“Web 2.0” is the mantra enthusiastically repeated in the past few years on anything concerning the production of culture, dialogue and online communication. Even science is changing, along with the processes involving the communication, collaboration and cooperation created through the web, yet rooted in some of its historical features of openness. For this issue, JCOM has asked some experts on the most recent changes in science to analyse the potential and the contradictions lying in online collaborative science. The new open science feeds on the opportunity to freely contribute to knowledge production, sharing not only data, but also software and hardware. But it is open also to the outside, where citizens use Web 2.0 instruments to discuss about science in a horizontal way.
On March 2007 JCOM issue, Bruce Lewenstein made this question: why should we care about science books? Next he analyzed some fundamental roles of science books. As a continuation for that enquiry, this text wants to be a dialogue about science, readers, and books, just a quick look at many of the other books, science books, those that do not find easily their place in bookstores and libraries; these books situated beyond labels like fiction or romance but equally memorable, necessaries and desirables.