Risk, Science and Public Communication: Third-order Thinking about Scientific Culture

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Cases such as climate change, BSE and COVID-19 remind us that science communication is central to risk-related decision-making and public governance. Issues arising include how to communicate about social and technical uncertainties, and how to engage with matters of ethical choice, value and personal responsibility. In this context, first-order thinking is based on the ‘deficit’ model of public ignorance and one-way communication. Second-order thinking builds upon notions of two-way exchange and open dialogue. Third-order thinking asks more fundamental questions about the need for change and different futures. The chapter concludes with thoughts on the road ahead for science communication and its relationship to scientific culture.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRoutledge Handbook of Public Communication of Science and Technology
EditorsMassimiano Bucchi, Brian Trench
Number of pages16
Place of PublicationAbingdon
Publication date2021
ISBN (Print)9780367483128, 9780367702946
ISBN (Electronic)9781003039242
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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