Sociology and Criminology-Open Access

Sociology and Criminology-Open Access
Open Access

ISSN: 2375-4435



A Sociologically Informed Ethics of American Science Literacy: Toward a Transdisciplinary Understanding

Desire JM Anastasia and Stuart Henry

This paper reexamines the ethics of improving public knowledge about science and technology, or science literacy. Rather than reproduce the core themes of the large body of literature on this topic over a number of decades, this paper uses National Science Foundation’s Science and Engineering Indicators for the 10-year period 2002-2012 to inform a transdisciplinary analysis of knowledge production, and kinds of science knowledge produced. In particular, the paper highlights the need to identify different sub-publics, understand their value systems and the socio-cultural contexts in which they operate, and how these publics are not simply passive consumers of knowledge, but are themselves co-producers and appliers of science related knowledge. The paper thus argues for an ethics of scientific literacy that takes account of knowledge production beyond disciplinary and interdisciplinary frameworks, and uses this understanding to foster an authentic deliberative partnership of engagement.