[Blueboard] Manila Observatory Brown Bag Seminar Series
andy at observatory.ph
andy at observatory.ph
Tue Jan 24 16:14:08 PHT 2012
To the Ateneo de Manila community:
In connection with the Manila Observatory's brown bag seminar series,
please be informed that Ms. Inez Ponce de Leon will deliver her
lecture as part of this series on Friday, 27 January 2012 at the MO
Basement Conference Room from 11:30am to 12:30pm.
Please see below the title and abstract of her talk. Hope you can attend.
"Science Communication Beliefs of Researchers Based in the Philippines
and the United States: A Qualitative Analysis of Research Cultures and
How do researchers' background cultures and worldviews influence their
beliefs about science communication? Do bench scientists from two
different cultures also have two different ways of doing and
To answer this question, Inez Ponce de Leon interviewed 40 bench
scientists: 20 from various research institutions in the Philippines,
and 20 from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. She talked
to them about their culture as scientists, the culture with which they
were surrounded, their views on science, and their opinions about
science communication. She analyzed these interviews in depth using a
combination of theoretical and conceptual frameworks that examined
culture, boundary setting, the definitions of various types of science
communication, and the bench scientists? worldview.
Her analysis revealed that bench scientists from these cultural
milieus differed in their worldviews and how they perceived their jobs
as scientists. Filipino bench scientists tended to want the public to
believe in the stability of scientific facts, but admitted that
scientific findings could change. U.S.-based researchers, on the other
hand, tended to acknowledge their limitations as researchers, and
admitted that knowledge changed.
All researchers believed in the dissemination model of science
communication, where scientific knowledge is held in high regard, and
where the lay public's duty is to listen to scientists. However,
Filipino scientists wanted to communicate scientific facts, while
U.S.-based researchers wanted to communicate the nature of scientific
research, as well.
The researchers also provided opinions on their surrounding culture:
Filipino researchers tended to believe that habits unique to the
Filipino culture, such as lack of assertiveness, were impeding science
progress and exacerbating the poor funding situation. U.S.-based
scientists believed that American culture encouraged creativity and
critical thinking and allowed them to deal with funding pressures.
Findings from this research can be used to help advance theoretical
modeling in the context of science communication. Findings can also
help improve science communication by understanding how scientists
define themselves as key players in the communication process, which,
in turn, can help in training these scientists to communicate directly
with lay audiences.
Inez Ponce de Leon is the Science and Risk Communication Specialist at
the Manila Observatory. She has undergraduate and masters degrees in
Molecular Biology and Biotechnology from the University of the
Philippines, Diliman; and a PhD in Science Communication from Purdue
University. Her research interests include the nature of science and
scientific research; the sociology of the scientific discipline;
science and society; genetic engineering; and biotechnology.
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