Synthesis Philosophica 25 (2):251-264 (2010)

Abstract
In the complex interaction between science and the public already at the end of the 19th century, Oton Kučera has seen the important role of philosophy, which counts on the advancement of the natural sciences that has begun with the new understanding of natural processes and phenomena. There is no doubt that the media are the most effective in bringing science closer to the broader publics. Therefore, in this short presentation I will compare the results of the recent Public Understanding of Science surveys dealing with the knowledge about, the expectations from and the attitudes towards science. I will discuss the possible influence of the media with regard to the content and will present some of the models of science communication, as well as the types and characteristics of audiences for science in the lay public. Many important studies have shown that the correlation between knowledge and positive attitudes exists only to a certain point and that the beliefs have an important role in the creation of attitudes and in the decisionmaking process about sensitive issues or risk. After the analysis of few case studies, my conclusion will be that philosophy can help to improve the science–media–public relationship in its weakest points
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