Promoting Scientific Culture: A Review of Public Policies in the Ibero-American Countries

Cortassa, Carina ; Polino, Carmelo

Abstract

The article presents an overview of a recent study aimed at describing how the efforts to improve the public scientific culture (SC) have gained ground in the broader frame of public policies for S&T in Ibero-America. The purpose is to assess to what extent the discourse of the governmental agencies reflects the concern over the matter and in which way the usual ‘loud and clear´ claims in this sense turn into operative strategies, actions and tools. The outcomes suggest a complex scenario. Although most of the countries explicitly encompass the need to improve public engagement with science in their respective sectorial Plans, the interest put forth at this rethorical level doesn’t always match with the type of (limited) actions actually carried on in a factual level. Besides, the huge heterogeneity of concepts, tools, practices and aims reported in each context as part of the promotion of scientific culture not only entails a difficulty to achieve a reliable picture of the regional policies in this field but, at the same time, hinders the possibility of a more accurate assessment and comparison among them.

Keyword(s)

Scientific Culture, Communication, Popularization, Indicators, Policy

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