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Intuitions in science education and the public understanding of science

Stefaan Blancke UGent, Koen Tanghe UGent and Johan Braeckman UGent (2018) Perspectives on science and culture. p.223-241
abstract
Although science builds on ordinary, intuitive reasoning, its results can be highly counterintuitive. This tension between the intuitive, cognitive basis of science and its counterintuitive results offers both opportunities and challenges for those who are involved with taking science to the public, in particular science educators, communicators, and popularizers. On the one hand, they need to engage with people’s intuitive understanding by resorting to appealing metaphors, imagery, or narratives as tools to facilitate the understanding and acceptance of scientific concepts. Because of their intuitive appeal, these representations can become popular, bringing scientific concepts to large parts of the public. On the other hand, however, these tools can also be highly misleading, creating or sustaining unscientific representations that, because of their intuitively appealing nature, are more likely to become popular within the culture at large than the underlying scientific concepts the educator or communicator is trying to convey. Furthermore, as science educators, communicators and popularizers do not have minds that differ markedly from any ordinary human mind, they themselves are not entirely immune to the powerful seduction of intuitively appealing representations, thus enforcing their misleading effect. As such, science educators, communicators, and popularizers should be careful about the educational, communicational, and rhetorical strategies and tools they employ. Some canbecome highly successful, but this might come at the expense of their own understanding of science and, especially, that of their audience and of society at large.
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
year
type
bookChapter
publication status
published
subject
book title
Perspectives on science and culture
editor
Kris Rutten UGent, Stefaan Blancke UGent and Ronald Soetaert UGent
pages
223 - 241
publisher
Purdue University Press
place of publication
West Lafayette
ISBN
9781557537973
language
English
UGent publication?
yes
classification
B2
id
8538273
handle
http://hdl.handle.net/1854/LU-8538273
date created
2017-11-20 19:58:55
date last changed
2017-11-21 07:40:33
@incollection{8538273,
  abstract     = {Although science builds on ordinary, intuitive reasoning, its results can be highly counterintuitive. This tension between the intuitive, cognitive basis of science and its counterintuitive results offers both opportunities and challenges for those who are involved with taking science to the public, in particular science educators, communicators, and popularizers. On the one
hand, they need to engage with people{\textquoteright}s intuitive understanding by resorting to appealing metaphors, imagery, or narratives as tools to facilitate the understanding and acceptance of scientific concepts. Because of their intuitive
appeal, these representations can become popular, bringing scientific concepts to large parts of the public. On the other hand, however, these tools can also be highly misleading, creating or sustaining unscientific representations that, because of their intuitively appealing nature, are more likely to become popular within the culture at large than the underlying scientific
concepts the educator or communicator is trying to convey. Furthermore, as science educators, communicators and popularizers do not have minds that differ markedly from any ordinary human mind, they themselves are not entirely immune to the powerful seduction of intuitively appealing representations, thus enforcing their misleading effect. As such, science educators, communicators, and popularizers should be careful about the educational, communicational, and rhetorical strategies and tools they employ. Some canbecome highly successful, but this might come at the expense of their own understanding of science and, especially, that of their audience and of society at large.},
  author       = {Blancke, Stefaan and Tanghe, Koen and Braeckman, Johan},
  booktitle    = {Perspectives on science and culture},
  editor       = {Rutten, Kris and Blancke, Stefaan and Soetaert, Ronald},
  isbn         = {9781557537973},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {223--241},
  publisher    = {Purdue University Press},
  title        = {Intuitions in science education and the public understanding of science},
  year         = {2018},
}

Chicago
Blancke, Stefaan, Koen Tanghe, and Johan Braeckman. 2018. “Intuitions in Science Education and the Public Understanding of Science.” In Perspectives on Science and Culture, ed. Kris Rutten, Stefaan Blancke, and Ronald Soetaert, 223–241. West Lafayette: Purdue University Press.
APA
Blancke, S., Tanghe, K., & Braeckman, J. (2018). Intuitions in science education and the public understanding of science. In Kris Rutten, S. Blancke, & R. Soetaert (Eds.), Perspectives on science and culture (pp. 223–241). West Lafayette: Purdue University Press.
Vancouver
1.
Blancke S, Tanghe K, Braeckman J. Intuitions in science education and the public understanding of science. In: Rutten K, Blancke S, Soetaert R, editors. Perspectives on science and culture. West Lafayette: Purdue University Press; 2018. p. 223–41.
MLA
Blancke, Stefaan, Koen Tanghe, and Johan Braeckman. “Intuitions in Science Education and the Public Understanding of Science.” Perspectives on Science and Culture. Ed. Kris Rutten, Stefaan Blancke, & Ronald Soetaert. West Lafayette: Purdue University Press, 2018. 223–241. Print.