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Revista iberoamericana de ciencia tecnología y sociedad

On-line version ISSN 1850-0013

Abstract

JARA GUERRERO, Salvador  and  TORRES MELGOZA, Juan. Social perception of science: Utopy or distopy. Rev. iberoam. cienc. tecnol. soc. [online]. 2011, vol.6, n.17, pp. 57-76. ISSN 1850-0013.

We live in the era of knowledge, enjoying its successes and fearing its risks. In spite of the enormous amount of scientific information generated every day, scientific illiteracy in our society is alarming as evidenced in the increase in the diffusion of pseudo-sciences, sects, or bogus science that attempt to manipulate world populations by taking advantage of their scientific ignorance. At the core of this paradox is the incapacity of the population to evaluation and distinguish between scientific knowledge and bogus science, between the potential of science and its risks. The last educational opportunity of those who do not study science to learn and analyze scientific topics in a critical way is at the high school or preparatory school level. This article explores the conceptions that high school students have of science and scientists. The results show an ambivalence that could be the reflection of their inability to distinguish and evaluate knowledge versus a simple opinion or a fallacy.

Keywords : Social perception of science; Social representations; Scientific culture.

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