Understanding What in Public Understanding of Science

Perspectives on Science 32 (2):207-229 (2024)
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Abstract

What should citizens understand about science to participate in democratic life? Against the prevailing approach, we argue that “what” a public understanding of science is about strongly depends on the specific epistemological nature of the science related issues considered in different contexts and circumstances. We identify three specific categories of such issues and show how, equally, specific models of public understanding are required to address them. Only by endorsing such an alternative approach will citizens arguably be able to form sound opinions about those very issues, as well as to discuss and deliberate rationally about them.

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Eleonora Montuschi
University of Venice

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