Communicating science across cultures – Session 1 of 2- Astronomy and voyaging

Communicating science across cultures – Session 1 of 2- Astronomy and voyaging

Author: Steve Miller – University College London. United Kingdom

Kalepa Baybayan – Polynesia Voyaging Society
Caroline Cook – Otago Museum
Nancy Longnecker – University of Otago
Steven Tingay – Curtin University

Considerable efforts have been put into understanding how different publics make sense of matters scientific (broadly understood) and how they relate to their existing systems of knowledge and belief. Practices in science communication and engagement have been developed to allow for these varied understandings and to enable ordinary citizens to participate in projects and decisions that involve considerable input from science.

A lot of this work, however, has been concentrated on situations where both the scientific community and their fellow citizens have similar cultural backgrounds, and where there is at least some consensus that science is “a good thing”, in terms of problem solving and economic and social well-being. Increasingly, however, the science communication community is facing situations where shared cultural backgrounds and beliefs cannot be assumed.

These two linked sessions set out to explore these situations, to exchange ideas and noteworthy practices, and to deepen the understanding of the PCST community itself on what it means to communicate about science “across” cultures.

Given the location of PCST2018 in Aotearoa (New Zealand), the South-Western point of the “Polynesian Triangle”, the first of these two sessions particularly features science communication in a Polynesian context. And there will, for at least part of this session, be a concentration on astronomy and its relationship with the people and peopling of Polynesia.

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

Presentation type: Grouped paper
Theme: Society
Area of interest: Comparing science communication across cultures