Reconfiguring the public of science

Abstract : This paper reconsiders recent changes in science-public relations in France in the light of earlier ideas about the role of the lay public. A broad historical perspective shows that the categories used to describe communications between knowledge producers and society have been reconfigured again and again (Secord 2004). Notions such as such as 'savants' and 'amateurs', 'popular science' and 'science mediation' are historical constructions heavily dependent on the institutional conditions of scientific research and on its technological applications (Topham 2009ab). This paper first emphasizes the epistemic and social conditionsof the construction of the notion of the public as 'those who do not know' in the 20th century. It then tries to understand when and how the notions of 'citizen science' and 'participatory science' emerged. Finally, through a brief survey of various modes of participation developed over the past decade, it questions the notion of a radical change or paradigm shift.
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Bernadette Bensaude Vincent. Reconfiguring the public of science. Baranger Patrick, Schiele Bernard. Science Communication Today. International Perspective. Issues & Strategies, CNRS Editions, pp.105-118, 2013. ⟨hal-00939887⟩

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