• Non ci sono risultati.

The better you know, the better you make your choice. The need for a scientific citizenship in the era of knowledge


Academic year: 2021

Condividi "The better you know, the better you make your choice. The need for a scientific citizenship in the era of knowledge"


Testo completo


SISSA – International School for Advanced Studies Journal of Science Communication

ISSN 1824 – 2049 http://jcom.sissa.it/

JCOM 7 (3), September 2008  2008 SISSA


The better you know, the better you make your choice.

The need for a scientific citizenship in the era of knowledge

Martin W. Bauer is right,1 two evolutionary processes are under way. These are quite significant and, in some way, they converge into public science communication: a deep evolution of discourse is unfolding, along with an even deeper change of the public understanding of science.

Discourse is actually undergoing a twofold evolution, with respect to its method and models. In the former case, the evolution regards the practical methods of public science communication, which are now obviously exploring new larger and larger areas, beyond the typical spaces of (both official and informal) education, of arts and mass media. It is an essentially spontaneous process taking place under an external pressure: the ever larger presence of science in the various dimensions of the individual and collective life of citizens. Examples of that are the Third Stream of universities, the growing quantities of science in politics (from Parliamentary chambers to neighbourhood assemblies), the scientific-content advertising communication. A weighty example is the new relation between doctors and patients, ever more founded on scientific information, a prelude to the “informed consensus” that replaces the old

“paternalistic authority of the doctor”, typical in that relation.

The channels for science communication are also growing and getting rich and, through a trial and error procedure, the best communication practices are selected for each and every level. And so, the method used in science communication is changing.

However, what is changing is also the awareness that science communication scholars have on the subject of their studies. Consequently, a change is taking place also in the communication models put forward. Awareness is raising, in particular, on the complexity of the public discourse on science (the science communication system features a huge number of quickly evolving actors exchanging in many different ways a huge amount of information) and on the fact that it is a dialogue, not a monologue. An extremely naïve assumption has crumbled before our eyes: some used to believe science communication was a transfer of information between those who know (scientists) and those who do not know (ordinary citizens) in the equally naïve certainty that the better you know science, the more you love it.

Sociology and social psychology studies, to tell the truth, had long demonstrated that no realm of mass communication has silver bullets and that any dialogue among large social groups is complex and rapidly evolving. The fact that the scholars of science communication are reaching the same awareness is a symptom of the growing maturity of this young and – all in all, still small – community.

As Martin W. Bauer has rightfully pointed out, also the demand for communication from non-expert citizens is changing. Time after time, these citizens make up an array of social groups (from managers to the employees of a hi-tech company, to the bureaucrats from Brussels; from the stakeholders claiming their participation in shared environmental choices to the judges in courts who have to make decisions on life and death, as there are new opportunities offered by biomedical technologies not yet provided for by the legislation) that have different communication needs and therefore participate in many different ways in the “scientific discourse”.

However, there is a general feature. Science and technology – the latter being at the same time mother and child of science – are increasingly essential elements in our life, at each and every level: individual and collective; cultural, political, social and economic. The access to scientific knowledge and to the chance to exploit it at each and every one of those levels – individual and collective; cultural, political, social and economic – increasingly is a qualifying character of democracy in an era which, not by chance, is defined as “of knowledge”: the better you know, the better you make your choice.


P. Greco 2

Science communication is therefore a huge and growing social need. One of the founding factors of the modern concept of democracy. It is this – new and huge – need for a scientific citizenship that overwhelms any practical method and any theoretical model, more or less naïve, for a public science communication.

Translated by Massimo Caregnato

Pietro Greco Notes and references

1 Martin W. Bauer, The Evolution of Public Understanding of Science Discourse and Comparative Evidence, speech delivered at the Spoleto Festival 2008 – Fondazione Sigma Tau, Spoleto (Italy), on Saturday 12 July 2008.


Documenti correlati

Proseguendo il nostro interesse sulla reattività di 2,2’-bipiridine con ioni di metalli nobili abbiamo sintetizzato e studiato la reattività di nuovi derivati di platino e palladio

When Robert arrived at the tennis club, Christina went home.. Christina went home before Robert arrived at the

Finally,  we  showed  that  the  interaction  between  mechanisms  for  perceiving  and  observing  touch  is  also  relevant  for  the  empathic  sharing  of 

Based on the be- lief that any interview mode affects the probabilities of including respondents in a sample([22]), but also their answers, the AlmaLaurea aim was to determine if

“We are very happy to see our home garden full of vegetables, we could better feed our family and sell surplus to the market, this was because of the use of the

The Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) program within the Lebanese Red Cross (LRC), has been part of the efforts being invested within the Disaster Risk Management (DRM) unit in the

Alessandra Cesaro • Università degli Studi di Padova Andrea Ciani • Università degli Studi di Bologna Alessia Cinotti • Università Europea di Roma Roberto Dainese •

relazione era composta di tre parti: a) relazione amministrativa, concernente gli affari trattati nella gestione amministrativa; b) relazione economica, a sua volta suddivisa in

L’aver ricordato che la Chiesa tradizionalmente possiede una norma penale che scomunica chi disturbi i pellegrini, ed un’altra che assimila costo- ro, nella protezione e

corrispondente alle note 33-41.. della contessa Matilde, proseguiva quel processo di appropriazione di beni e diritti pubblici che fu alla base dell'autonomia comunale della città

La scienza – e la tecnologia che della scienza è, insieme, figlia e madre – sono sempre più elementi essenziali della nostra vita, in ogni e ciascuna delle sue

In a sample of advanced and developing countries observed over the 1980-2007 period, this paper documents that the ability to use financial instruments and deal with financial market

This includes central administration, the medical school dean, the university hospital, clinical departments, the research institute, the Veterans Administration hospital, and

While literary writing is an art based on principles of personal style, fiction, and originality, good scientific writing is a craft that builds on clear communication

B46CPM95 Piatto doccia shower tray - C53FLS13 box doccia con pannello fisso, pannello basso apribile ad ante scorrevoli e tenda shower enclosure with fixed panel, low panel

Partendo da tre studi fondamentali (analisi dei key values e dell’heritage del brand/analisi del WOM (parlato in rete) sulla categoria Prosecco/Mappatura dei key values e

Roberto ha esposto il suo lavoro negli Stati Uniti, in Europa, Giappone ed in Australia e ha ricevuto borse di studio tra le quali una borsa di studio Fulbright, un premio dal

Dim: mm 130x239 Adattatore da muro con visiera in alluminio anodizzato che consente la sostituzione di un posto esterno esistente da incasso della serie Mody, a due moduli, con

will need to consult and work together with other relevant ministries, such as the ministry of labour, social security, and/or other organization(s) responsible for the protection

Antonio Esposito Gianluca Maurizi Riccardo Serrani Correlatori Adalberto Dias Giorgio Liverani Anno Accademico 2018

The virus is thought to spread mainly between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet) through respiratory droplets produced when an infected

Using a three- station filter for the EIB (similar to the 3-station requirement of the IDC‘s Reviewed Event Bul- letin REB) reduces the number of events and makes the source

Al quadro teorico specifico per la valutazione di sistema degli apprendimenti matematici viene affiancato, come anticipato, quello inerente la ricerca sui fattori affettivi in