We focus on critical inquiry into the 'deficit to dialogue' narrative (a move from one-way PUS to more dialogic approaches). We also explore the boundaries of STS scholarship on science communication and invite papers on formats which might appear more as one-way communication.
The last decades have, in a number of countries, seen an increase in science communication and public engagement activities. In many places a welldefined 'deficit to dialogue' narrative tells of the move from 'public understanding of science' (PUS) models of communication (dominant in the 1980s and '90s) to more dialogic approaches, based on twoway communication between science and its publics.
STS scholarship has been instrumental in these developments. Theoretical and analytical attention, as well as experiments with practice, have, however, tended to focus on policy oriented or governmentally sponsored engagement, and especially on overt efforts to 'democratise' science. This panel focuses on the often overlooked area of (what we might call) 'straight' science communication —that which does not claim to formally influence policy or scientific research, and which may at first glance feature one way communication. This includes, for instance, science in museums, science fairs and festivals, popular science media, science blogging, sci-art activities, and university and lab open days. We invite critical STS analysis and discussion of these activities. This might include, for example, reflections on the role science communication may play in the democratisation of science, analyses of the constitution of publics and knowledges within particular science communication activities, or accounts of experimental practice. The panel will thus use the methodologies of critical STS to reflect upon the problems, potential and practice of contemporary science communication.