Author: Joanne Riley – South African Agency for Science and Technology Advancement, South Africa

The South African Science LensTM exhibition is a collection of photographs that capture the science behind the beauty in our universe and the beauty we discover through scientific investigation. Many of the photographers are researchers or science students across numerous disciplines including biology, chemistry, physics, geology and astronomy. Others are amateur or professional photographers from all walks of life that are interested in the scientific world. This collection of images has been produced with cameras, microscopes and telescopes using various techniques. The photographs are entered into the biennial SA Science LensTM competition, an initiative of the South African Agency for Science and Technology Advancement, a business unit of the National Research Foundation. The competition has been running since 2002 and consists of four different categories: Science as Art, Science Close-Up, Science in Action, and a category that changes with each competition to reflect a particular theme relevant at the time. The images from this competition are as varied as they are beautiful: some look like abstract paintings, and others like peaceful landscapes – but all are as valuable to science as they are to art. This visual poster presentation will provide a feature of the SA Science LensTM competition over many years and a walk through time of a well-established science communication initiative.

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

Presentation type: Visual presentation
Theme: Time

Author: James Riley – University of Birmingham, United Kingdom


  • Alexander Hall – University of Birmingham, United Kingdom
  • Stephen Jones – University of Birmingham, United Kingdom
  • Carissa Sharp – University of Birmingham, United Kingdom

Science never speaks for itself, rather its communication is undergirded by sets of often-unspoken beliefs. This multidisciplinary session draws upon sociological, psychological, historical and media studies approaches to interrogate issues in the communication of the relations between science, belief and society. The issues discussed in this session include the singular focus on creationists in press discourse around attitudes to evolution, the effects of Richard Dawkins’ anti-religious statements on religiosity and science identification, the changing institutional forces shaping the versions of science which have appeared on the BBC, and how imagined audiences shape both ‘religious’ and ‘secular’ representations of science on British television. The thematic link between these papers is that science never ‘speaks for itself’. Institutions and individuals’ beliefs shape the versions of science communicated to the public, and thus also frame how that version of science can and does relate to society. Accordingly, the papers in this session focus on both the changing institutional forces that shape the versions of science and science-society relations communicated to publics, as well as the effects of ideologically-framed messages on individuals’ identification with science.

Following the presentation of the linked papers, chair Professor Fern-Elsdon Baker will lead a discussion linking the themes of the papers, placing the arguments in a broader international context of issues relating to science, belief, and society.

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

Presentation type: Linked papers
Theme: Transformation