公衆の科学理解に関する一考察 : イギリスにおける医療・環境問題から An Investigation of the Public Understading of Sciience
The purpose of this paper is to consider how the public who are not engaged in special scientific work understand and interact with science. Recently we are surrounded by various risks caused by science, so the public needs to know and participate in increasing more scientific related affairs. To deal with this issue of "Public Understanding of Science", first, we sum up the scientific enlightenment action and policy during the twentieth century in the United Kingdom. We refer in particular to the Royal Society's report The Public Understanding of Science. In this report an evidence is found of aims to increase the publics understanding of science for national prosperity, and a "deficit model" is given which regard the public as scientifically vacant, ignorant people. On the contrary, there are studies that aim to make it clear that the public understanding of science has its own actuality and positive significance. We take Misunderstanding Science? as the representative study of this kind. Two examples in this book are introduced in this paper, one explains how the patients of Familial Hypercholesterolaemia get on with scientific and medical knowledge, and the other explains how sheep farmers around the Sellafield Nuclear Plant get on with the scientists sent from the United Kingdom. From these examples, we can find that there are rationalities in the lay public's scientific judgment. However, these examples are local and specific, so in order to make it clear that the lay public's scientific judgment has the great power to make scientific policies more democratic, we introduce global consumers' action against Royal Dutch Shell concerning the Brent Spar, an old oil rig that was dumped in the Atlantic ocean. This affair happened as global consumers ignored the authorized scientists' opinions, displaying the power of the public's own judgment. The main theme of this paper, that the public understanding of science has the critical power for scientific governance, is arranged in the last section.
- 京都社会学年報 : KJS
京都社会学年報 : KJS 9, 149-164, 2001-12-25