Communicating science: A novel frame of reverence
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Scientists, science educators, and communicators commit an enormous amount of effort to promote science literacy but the evidence suggests that we consistently fail to produce results that scale with the investment. Thus there is a growing motivation to call on informal science communication to contribute to the goal of improving the public understanding of science. Since constructivist approaches to formal science pedagogy are one area that has seen modest success, this project seeks to develop a more theoretically founded constructivist approach to informal science communication. The research specifically addresses the public perception of science by focusing on phenomenological and affective responses to science content. It is reasoned that the prevailing "two-culture" antagonism between science and the humanities manifests ultimately in an underappreciated spectrum of personal, cultural, and environmental ills. By suggesting links to science literacy and negative perceptions of science, this research may offer insights to improve the human condition. As the research advanced from theory to practice it evolved by necessity into an endeavor to vertically integrate science and the humanities. The result is a practical framework for science communication that is; based on existing knowledge because it is transacted from accepted resources; boundary-crossing because it integrates insights from across disciplinary divides; and pragmatic because it is negotiated directly from the cultural problems previously linked to negative perceptions of science. The conclusions of this study may be especially useful for improving communication of science to the public, informal science education, and science for non-science majors.