AbstractsEducation Research & Administration

Science Communication and Interpersonal Conversation

by Robert Brandon Gantt

Institution: University of Otago
Year: 0
Keywords: science communication; science; communication; conversation; science literacy; science education; philosophy of science; epistemology; epistemic challenge; interpersonal conversation
Record ID: 1309770
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/10523/5107


Science literacy and public understanding of science amongst the public has stagnated in recent decades in the United States and Australia. This has occurred despite the simultaneous rise of ubiquitous access to massive amounts of factual information available to the public, including efforts by science communicators using any medium available, books, documentaries, Twitter, etc. These efforts have failed in part because people consume media selectively, avoiding topics they disagree with, or are uninteresting to them. This thesis examines how interpersonal conversation might be able to mitigate the effects of selective media consumption when actively pursued by science communicators and members of the public who are interested in science. Research from education theory and psychology are mapped onto interpersonal conversation with a focus on personal epistemic development. It is suggested that science and interpersonal conversation could be a fruitful area of research for science communication. This thesis contains two parts, an academic component and a written creative component inspired by the findings of the academic section.