Public understanding of science : (a case study of a coloured community)

Maralack, Bernado Canon Theodore (2003-03)

Thesis (MPhil)--Stellenbosch University, 2003.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: While the importance of science and technology for society has long been recognised, it has taken on ever increasing importance in the present century. As a result this study, government (The year of Science and Technology - 1998), and other initiatives by concerned bodies efforts are directed to better inform the public about the nature and role of science and technology. It aimed to make citizens both better informed and better able to adapt to the many changes that science and technology have brought, and will continue to bring, to their lives. Despite these efforts many citizens remain ill informed about the scientific advances, and how technology affects their lives. As a result, most members of the public are unable to form substantiated judgements about matters involving science and technology. It is essential that ways are find to improve the public understands of science and technology. This study discusses the results of an empirical survey which was conducted in a coloured community in Paarl. The thesis summarises the results of the survey on these issues. It presents data on the public's understanding of science and technology and lists efforts that have been made to improve the understanding of science and technology. The study describes efforts to make information on science and technology more readily available to the public. Finally, it proposed measures that various actors might usefully take to improve public understanding of science and technology.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die belangrikheid van wetenskap en tegnologie vir die samelewing word reeds 'n geruime tyd erken, en het veraloor die laaste eeu toegeneem. Hieruit spruit die poging van hierdie studie, die regering (die Jaar van Wetenskap en Tegnologie 1998), en ander inisiatiewe deur belanghebbende organisasies om die algemene publiek in te lig rakende die rol van wetenskap en tegnologie. Dit poog om die algemene publiek in te lig oor, en in staat te stelom aan te pas by die veranderinge wat wetenskap en tegnologie reeds meegebring het, en nog sal meebring in hulle daaglikse lewe. Ten spyte van hierdie pogings is verskeie lede van die publiek steeds oningelig rakende wetenskaplike veranderinge en die wyses waarop tegnologie hulle lewens beïnvloed. Gevolglik is 'n groot gedeelte van die algemene publiek nie in staat om ingeligte oordele te kan maak met betrekking tot wetenskap- en tegnologieverwante aangeleenthede nie. Dit is dus essensieel dat maniere gevind word om die algemene publiek se persepsie van wetenskap en tegnologie te verbeter. Hierdie studie bespreek die resultate van 'n empiriese opname wat onder 'n bruin gemeenskap in Paarlonderneem is. Dit bevat resultate oor die algemene publiek se persepsies van wetenskap en tegnologie, en gee 'n aanduiding van die pogings wat aangewend is om hierdie persepsie te verbeter. Die studie beskryf ook die pogings wat aangewend is om inligting rakende wetenskap en tegnologie meer beskikbaar te maak vir die algemene publiek. Ten slotte, word maniere voorgestel waarop die verskeie rolspelers strategiee geimplementeer kan word vir die uitbouing van die algemene publiek se persepsie van wetenskap en tegnologie.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/53564
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