Edoardo ZULATO, Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca, Italy
Kevin CLEMENTI, Université de Strasbourg, France
Carolina QUAGLIARELLA, Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca, Italy
Lorenzo MONTALI, Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca, Italy
Pandemics often put science and scientists at the centre of the public discussion, having relevant effects on the science-society relationships (Metcalfe et al., 2020). For instance, while trust in science as an endeavour may remain stable, trust in scientist may reduce significantly (Eichengreen et al., 2020). During the COVID-19 pandemic, health agencies’ and doctors’ guidelines were crucial in orienting public policies (e.g., lockdowns) and social actions (e.g., wearing a mask). However, their role was surrounded by polemics (Observa, 2020). Being “amateur scientists”, laypeople do not passively accept experts’ opinions, but they actively re-elaborate and resist them (Bauer & Gaskell, 2009). Interestingly, the nature of this re-elaboration is often political (Hamilton & Safford, 2020). By comparing different political positionings, the ongoing research aims to: (1) investigate the contents of the emerging representations of science (themes and key players); (2) highlight the functions and the roles assigned to science-based institutions and scientists; (3) identify laypeople’s perspectives on the different sources of information. We conducted 60 semi-structured interviews with Italian laypeople (30 women; Age M = 44.4) having different political positionings: 30 supporting and 30 opposing the Italian government. Thirty interviews were conducted during the first wave (March-May 2020) and thirty during the second (November-December 2020). Our communication will discuss the results of our thematic analysis (Braun & Clark, 2006) by focusing on two dimensions: (1) the emerging representations of science and scientists in the two waves of infections in Italy and (2) the relationship between these representations and laypeople’s political leaning.
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Metcalfe, J., Riedlinger, M., Bauer, M. W., Chakraborty, A., Gascoigne, T., Guenther, L., ... & Herrera-Lima, S. (2020). The COVID-19 mirror: reflecting science-society relationships across 11 countries. Journal of Science Communication, 19(7).
Observa (2020). La “seconda ondata” della pandemia travolge la fiducia nelle istituzioni e negli esperti. https://www.observa.it/la-seconda-ondata-della-pandemia-travolge-la-fiducia-nelle-istituzioni-e-negli-esperti/
Document 1 : Document 1
Document 2 : S&Y-French version