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Science and scientists in the public sphere. New trends in science and society relationship. 
Giuseppe Pellegrini (Università di Trento)
Andrea Rubin (University of Ferrara (Italy))
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Traditional Open Panel

Short Abstract:

In recent years we have been witnessing a mobilization of scientists in the public debate through information, communication, citizen involvement initiatives and a parallel movement of the public and civil society organisations. Empirical and theoretical contributions are welcomed on these issues.

Long Abstract:

For more than fifteen years we have been witnessing a mobilization of scientists and research institutions to intervene in the public debate through information, communication and citizen involvement initiatives (Bauer & Jensen 2011). At the same time, the public and civil society organisations are increasingly interested and open to learning about and intervening in science and technology issues that directly affect them (Heigl et al., 2021).

This double movement is recognized in the face of themes such as energy, health, AI, infrastructures, highlighting that sometimes processes of clarification and mutual understanding develop communicative short-circuits (Rüfenacht et al). In general, however, it can be said that this double movement has generated a process of communicative action allowing a dialogue between scientists and audiences of different kinds (Bucchi and Neresini, 2008; Einsiedel, 2008). Various authors have therefore pointed out the flourishing of initiatives to involve non-experts with different formats and organizational methods (Burgess et al., 2007) that have favoured the construction of a new image of the different audiences involved (Braun and Schulz, 2010; Lezaun and Soneryd, 2007) also fostering a critical view of the commitment that scientists have dedicated to such activities and participative processes that involve non expert since the beginning of the research (Rödder, Franzen and Weingart, 2011).

Considering the premises described, this panel intends to address three main research questions:

What are the emerging strategies used by scientific institutions and scientists to communicate and dialogue with the non-expert public? How do the scientists engaged in public communication of science activities perceive the public and its involvement in science? What modes of communication do they used in these activities considering among them the social media?

This panel invites contributions on any aspect of science in the public sphere. Papers may be theoretical or focus on a particular case study.

Accepted papers: