Science in Society: the next 25 years

10 December 2021

In 2017, the international peer reviewed journal Public Understanding of Science, founded in 1992, celebrates its 25th anniversary. Leading scholars in the field were invited to imagine and reflect upon the future scenarios of Science in Society, discussing the main trends and challenges for research, publishing, science communication and public engagement. 

The event took place at Science Museum MUSE, Corso del Lavoro e della Scienza 3, Trento; and was organised in association with PCST, Public Communication of Science and Technology network.

It opened with a keynote by Steven Shapin (Harvard University) “Being a scientist: yesterday and today”, and then featured Five Roundtables on Five Keywords of Science in Society trends and changes.

Convenor Massimiano Bucchi reflected the discussions in hiw editorial in Public Understanding of Science: Credibility, expertise and the challenges of science communication 2.0.

“Recently, wide-ranging discussions about so-called ‘post-truth’ have also significantly involved science-related topics and science communication.

“The issue of credibility and reliability of information is obviously central for science communication and public understanding of science. However, some themes deserve more attention in this context.

“We live in a communication environment that is radically different from the past, and nevertheless, we paradoxically continue to invoke traditional forms of certifying the trustworthiness of information. In the age of ‘science communication 1.0’, if we wish to call it that, the reputation of the source or journal brand was enough to reassure us (for good or for ill) of the credibility of content. ‘I read it in the newspaper; it was on TV news’ were expressions often used to close a discussion. Nowadays, such guarantees seem no longer viable.”

The programme and a list of attendees