The third annual ‘Science & the Public’ conference will be held at the University of Manchester, Saturday 21 – Sunday 22 June, 2008. As the organisers point out, science communication is a much more complex thing than scientific journals and scientific meetings:

Today the´sciences are linked to society through many different channels of communication. The public interfaces with science during controversies that involve scientists as well as journalists, politicians and the citizenry as a whole. This intersection of science and the public raises many questions about the motivations of, and constraints on, actors involved in producing information about science for non-professional audiences. It also raises some fascinating questions about the nature, contexts and goals of the public communication of science from both a contemporary and historic perspective. This conference aims to bring together the wide ranging strands of academia that consider science as it intersects with non-scientific cultures.

And the list of possible topics runs as follows:

  • Patients and publics in health services
  • Notions of expertise in the public
  • Public science and science policy
  • Technological development and the public
  • Science communication theory in practice
  • News and entertainment media
  • Science on the internet
  • Science, technology and medicine in museums
  • Public interest and ‘the public interest’
  • Needless to say, the organisers encourage critical approaches to studying the public communication of technology and/or medicine, and they would also like to  see full panel submissions and roundtable sessions on all topics related to the social, cultural, political, and ethical issues surrounding science & the public.

    Panel proposals shall include both a panel abstract and individual (up to 300 words) abstracts + contact information (name, affiliation, email).

    Further inquiries and submissions to , not later than 14 March 2008.

    (based on a mail from David A. Kirby, CHSTM, University of Manchester earlier today)

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