Science is not fun

Opinions personals de membres del CEHIC i alumnes de postgrau

març 01 2011

Is there a “good” and a “bad” way of popularizing science?

Posted in General |

Yesterday I gave a talk about my Atapuerca project at the CSIC in Barcelona. In the ensuing discussion I was asked what I think about the gigantic popularization industry of Atapuerca? In particular scientists wonder where is the line between “popularization” and “propaganda”? Have Arsuaga and his colleagues gone too far? Did they cross a line? I responded that it is not up to me as a historian of science to decide this. It is not my task to make up norms for what is good popularization and what is bad popularization. I think a historian of science should reconstruct the narratives of the popular discourse, show how researchers construct a scientific persona, point at the (often hidden) political and ideological agendas (in short: all the different uses of popularization) yet without judging it. That would simply be ahistorical.

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