Public Understanding of Science versus Public Understanding of Research

October 1st, 2001 | RESEARCH

The current world research agenda is comprehensive. The results of many studies and experiments in which scientists are currently engaged will undoubtedly have profound impacts on the lives of citizens in developed and developing nations. Yet few people even know what research is being conducted, much less understand why it is being done and what the potential implications may be. This is a critical shortcoming of our public information system. Given the frenetic pace of science research in multi-disciplinary fields, it is increasingly vital that the public be made aware of new findings in a coherent manner. The field of informal, public education is uniquely poised to reach the public at all levels, so that those who need the information most, i.e. those who make or will make decisions for themselves and their families, have access to accurate, up-to-date, unbiased and substantive information.


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Team Members

Hyman Field, Author, National Science Foundation
Patricia Powell, Author, National Science Foundation


Publication: Public Understanding of Science
Volume: 10
Number: 4

Related URLs

Full Text


Audience: General Public | Museum | ISE Professionals | Scientists
Discipline: Education and learning science | General STEM
Resource Type: Peer-reviewed article | Research Products
Environment Type: Exhibitions | Informal | Formal Connections | Media and Technology | Professional Development | Conferences | Networks | Public Programs