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ERIC Number: EJ1147130
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-2154-8455
Evaluation of Science in the Media by Non-Science Majors
Leung, Jessica Shuk Ching; Wong, Alice Siu Ling; Yung, Benny Hin Wai
International Journal of Science Education, Part B: Communication and Public Engagement, v7 n3 p219-236 2017
Without a science background as sophisticated as that of a scientist, the evaluation of science in the media has proved to be a challenge to members of the public who are largely non-specialists. It is generally assumed that understandings of nature of science (NOS) will lead to this desired outcome of scientific literacy. This study examined the criteria applied and the capacity in which they were applied by non-science majors in evaluating science news. Sixty-four non-science majors from a local community college completed the Health News Evaluation Questionnaire and were invited for follow-up interviews. Findings showed that participants tended to focus more on the cognitive aspects of science than on the social or epistemological aspect of science in their evaluation, and that news reports of a socioscientific nature tended to elicit more responses pertaining to the social aspect of science than did reports of scientific research. These findings indicated the capacity of the non-science majors to draw upon the cognitive aspects of science despite their limited science background. This study laid the foundation for future research to explore further the assumed role of understandings of NOS in the critical evaluation of news reports with a science component.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Two Year Colleges; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A