Post-Normal Science Communication? The Role of Science Centres and Museums in an Uncertain Future

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  • Achiam 2024

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The world needs equitable and democratic dialogue. As a global society, we face numerous so-called “wicked problems” related to the unsustainable use of the Earth’s resources. The notion of wicked problems, developed by Horst Rittel and Melvin Webber in 1973, describes problems that are ill-defined and rely on value judgments for resolution – and are never truly solved. Today, such problems include climate disruption, the biodiversity crisis, and most recently, the COVID-19 pandemic. The process of tackling these problems is exacerbated by the widespread atmosphere of science scepticism and denialism along with delay tactics and misinformation. From a science communication perspective, the situation can seem overwhelming. Often, it is difficult to see how constructive space can be created for the discussions that are necessary to address the challenges we face.In this paper, I will consider the role science centres, science and technology museums, natural history museums, and other public science communication institutions can play in creating inclusive spaces to address these challenges. As I discuss in the paper, science museums have the resources, the expertise, and the social presence to counteract mis- and disinformation and to engage a diversity of stakeholders in co-creating responses to the problems we face.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Ecosystem of Science Communication in the Post-Truth Era : Perspectives, Contexts, Dynamics
EditorsDejan Jontes, Anja Skapin, Marianne Achiam
Number of pages21
Place of PublicationLjubljana
PublisherLjubljana University Press, Faculty of Arts
Publication dateFeb 2024
ISBN (Print)978-961-297-242-4
ISBN (Electronic)978-961-297-241-7
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2024

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