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Public Understanding of Science

Public understanding of science (PUS) is simultaneously a passion, a problem, a paradigm, and a puzzle. It is a passion for many who find pleasure and value in communicating about science and technology with nonscientists. It is a problem for many professional scientists, educators, and policymakers, who are concerned that the public is insufficiently informed about science and technology. It is a paradigm for those commentators and critics who see it as an elitist and self-serving view of the relationship between science and the rest of society. And last but not least, it is a puzzle to be solved by increasing numbers of science communication specialists who research, publish, and teach in this area.

The phrase public understanding of science (PUS) is notoriously ambiguous. By the ...

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