The Public Understanding of Science and the Misunderstanding of Its Affects

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In our society science has always been prominent in our development and existence in one way or the other. We are surrounded by things we do not fully except, and sometimes not fully understand, and because of this in our current times a separation grows between the scientifically learned and the uneducated in science. In this essay I will discuss the overlapping effect and influence of the public understanding of science in the advancing world; As well as its prominent issues of the psychological outcomes in confrontational incidents involving opposing views in scientific relations. To help describe this complicated view of science I will be referring to the article written by Brian Wynne the Misunderstood misunderstandings: social identities and public uptake of science. This article will help to focus down the definition of the public understanding of science, and will serve as the prime example in the understanding of the issues it causes.
Before one can understand the public understanding of science one must view the current model of understanding of science itself. The dominant model of science influences the separation between scientists and the people. It affirms that science is complicated, and therefore creates the belief and reliance in scientists, being the self-proclaimed professionals in that field. The people are drilled mentally into believing that the scientists understand everything there is about science because they are educated in that field. “Science produces genuine knowledge, but that knowledge is too complicated to be widely understood” (Wynnepg170). And thus the public’s views in matters of science are not founded because of their lack of expertise. In response scientists relay on the “dumping down” of t...

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...experiences. They now understood that scientists and science itself make mistakes, as seen in the misreading’s of the caesium levels in the soil. But the farmers too did not promote coexistence with the Scientists, due to the years of “Misunderstood misunderstanding” and the disregard of authority in each groups corresponding field.
In conclusion the Chernobyl disaster and its effects on the British sheep farming industry were an eye opener for society. The dominate view of science is clean cut and reinforces that science itself does not make mistakes. But once the conflict is introduced one can see the true nature of what is going on.

Beth Harry, Janette Klingner. Discarding the Deficit Model. Educational Leadership, 2007

Sismondo Serigio. An introduction to science and technology studies. UK: Blackwell publishing Ltd. 2010

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