Author: Anna Maria Hartkopf – Freie Universität Berlin, Germany

With being the M in the STEM acronym, mathematics is well represented in science communication. However, (pure) mathematics has its own branch of outreach activities.

Analysis of the semantics of mathematical science communication literature reveals an omnipresent “lack of appreciation“ for their field that is felt by mathematicians. “Popularization of mathematics“ and “raising the public awareness of mathematics“ are goals explicitly set by mathematical societies and unions around the world. Rarely are these objectives precisely defined. We take a close look at the beliefs, assumptions, and purports that can be found at the foundation of articles about mathematical science communication and point out common themes that indicate a perception which aligns with the outdated deficit model. Mathematical societies still aim to enhance the situation by educating the public about mathematics’ importance and beauty.

We propose new definitions for objectives of mathematical outreach, such as „public awareness of mathematics“ or „mathematical literacy“ that open the door for more participation and a dialogical approach. Because science communication is a practice more than a theory, we present best practice examples and impulses towards a more inclusive and eye-level realization of mathematical science communication projects.

The author has not yet submitted a copy of the full paper.

Presentation type: Individual paper
Theme: Transformation