Book Chapter Details
Mandatory Fields
Fahy D.
2019 January
Theory and Best Practices in Science Communication Training
What studies of expertise and experience offer science communication training
Optional Fields
© 2020 selection and editorial matter, Todd P. Newman; individual chapters, the contributors. This chapter argues that an influential strand of scholarship in the field of science studies, focused on expertise and experience, has much to offer scholars and practitioners of science communication training. The sociologists of science Harry Collins and Robert Evans have argued that expertise has been central to the role and function of scientists in contemporary culture. They argued that it was the particular specialist expertise and experience of scientists, underpinned by the community’s distinctive scientific ethos, which has granted scientists the legitimacy to contribute to public debate. As scientists are likely to undertake roles as public experts, the work of Collins and Evans has implications for communication training. Their scholarship argues that scientists should communicate only from their specialist expertise, convey the nature of their expertise, explain how they adhere to the scientific ethos, and constantly evaluate how far their expertise extends. The expertise-based communication has democratic dimensions in that scientists can help citizens make sound judgements about which experts to believe. Such an understanding is vital in contemporary culture where expertise is challenged, where knowledge is uncertain, where multiple experts communicate in public, and where citizens expect to participate in debates around science and technology.
Grant Details