Speaking Science 2.0

Everyone claims it’s a major societal problem, but what does science literacy exactly mean? What does past research suggest are the valid definitions of this frequently used term? Similarly, what is meant by the “public understanding of science”? Is it the same thing as “public engagement”? As I explain in our Framing Science article at Science and in the Speaking Science 2.0 road show, these definitions matter when it comes to effective public communication.

Over at my blog Framing Science, I repost a 2005 column that I wrote for Skeptical Inquirer Online. The short piece offers a lot for thought and discussion. Ultimately how we come to define these terms has direct bearing for how we choose to engage the public on controversial areas of science.

Comments

  1. #1 Ingvar Astrand
    September 13, 2007

    When scientists try to (and not lie and say that they do) understand science; then the public also will be interested to listen and want to understand what is understandable.
    But the unintelligible and unrealistic ideas of modern physics have frighten the public from understanding empirical science and relevant mathematics.
    Ingvar, Sweden

  2. #2 Ingvar Astrand
    September 14, 2007

    When scientists try to (and not lie and say that they do) understand science; then the public also will be interested to listened and want to understand.
    But the unintelligible and unrealistic modern physics� ideas has frighten the public from understanding science and mathematics.

  3. #3 Dave Briggs
    December 11, 2007

    Ultimately how we come to define these terms has direct bearing for how we choose to engage the public on controversial areas of science.

    I’ve seen this idea alluded to a number of times today. Mainly referring to Global warming. I believe that science has to remember that in dealing with the uninformed you have to consider their emotional reactions. Always being the bearer of bad news casts you in that light. We need to promote work on outlining solutions and rewarding even infinitesimal steps in those directions. The bad news has to be delivered, but that is just the starting point on bringing about solutions. And encouraging and rewarding even the slightest moves towards solutions and participation can bring vast results!
    Dave Briggs :~)