Slash writers and guinea pigs as models for a scientific multiliteracy

Educational Philosophy and Theory 38 (5):607–623 (2006)

This paper explores alternative approaches to the conception of scientific literacy, drawing on cultural studies and emerging practices in language arts as its framework. The paper reviews historic tensions in the understanding of scientific literacy and then draws on the multiliteracies movement in language arts to suggest a scientific multiliteracy. This is explored through analyzing the writing practices of groups other than scientists who for a variety of reasons must engage science. Specifically the paper examines zine writers who are ‘professional’ human research subjects, i.e. derive a part of their annual income by signing up for psychological and medical experiments, and science fiction fans, who produce their own texts in response to the narratives they love. The paper argues that these literacy practices add to traditional notions of scientific literacy possibilities of history, fiction, critique, as well as more traditional empiricism embraced by national standards. The paper concludes by considering the ambivalence towards science in both of these popular scientific literacy communities’ writings, arguing that what multiliteracies offers is a possibility of a more nuanced, more appropriately ambivalent, and more politically and ethically engaged subject of science than offered by the current version of literacy dominating science educational discourse
Keywords cultural studies  scientific literacy  popular culture
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DOI 10.1111/j.1469-5812.2006.00215.x
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The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.Thomas S. Kuhn - 1962 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 15 (58):158-161.
The Practice of Everyday Life.Michel de Certeau - 2011 - University of California Press.

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