Stephen JONES, University of Birmingham, United Kingdom
Recent research has shown that in Anglophone contexts publics often identify with science, with majorities seeing ‘science’ as important to their worldview and just under half saying the same about evolutionary science (Jones et al, 2020; Elsdon-Baker et al, 2017). Publics’ science identification is also often bound up with various narratives about culture, politics, morality and civilisation, as well as boundaries marked between identity groups (Jones et al, 2020). Rarely, however, has science identification been considered in research into, and deliberation about, science communication. Within science and technology studies, there is an established tradition of examining publics’ knowledge of, trust in, access to and engagement with science, but less attention has been paid to whether and why publics come to identify with science. In this paper, which draws on a large-scale multidisciplinary study of UK and Canadian adults as well as subsequent science communication work, I look at some of the ways in which science identification is relevant to science communication work, and consider how publics can productively be asked to reflect on their identities in the course of science communication.