Communication in and of science

This focus area addresses two separate but related questions: How do scientists communicate with each other within the science system, and how do scientists communicate and engage with their publics? The first question addresses issues such as the nature of scientific and scholarly publishing, debates around open access and intellectual property, as well as the sociology of scientific recognition and reputation (Merton, Latour and others). The second question is variously referred to as “science communication”, “science engagement”, the “advancement of science”, and so on. Related to the latter are also the long-standing debates around “scientific literacy” and “the public understanding of science and technology”. The importance of the advancement and promotion of science amongst its publics in SA has recently been re-affirmed through the SA Department of Science and Technology’s recent adoption of its Science Engagement Strategy.