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Literary chronicle as a vehicle for science outreach

Grant number: 20/11563-0
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Journalism
Effective date (Start): February 01, 2021
Effective date (End): July 31, 2021
Field of knowledge:Interdisciplinary Subjects
Principal researcher:Carlos Alberto Vogt
Grantee:Pablo Gomez Garcia
Home Institution: Núcleo de Desenvolvimento da Criatividade (NUDECRI). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil
Research place: Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Coordenadoria de Centros e Núcleos Disciplinares (COCEN). Núcleo de Desenvolvimento da Criatividade (NUDECRI), Brazil  

Abstract

The institutionalization of scientific research that took place in the 19th century, after the industrial revolution, shaped the relationships that exist today between science, society and technology. During this process, natural philosophers became professional scientists, the links between abstract and practical knowledge became closer and there was a decisive break between the world of science and the world of humanities. In just a century, new theories and discoveries and, above all, modern devices, showed an implacable transforming power, capable of introducing profound changes in our conception of the natural world and in our relationship with it. This divided society around two clear and conflicting positions: one expressly in favor of science and progress and the other decidedly against. In a coordinated response at the international level, during the second half of the 20th century, Science, Technology and Society (STS) programs were created, with the aim of «alphabetizing» the population in science. Despite the extensive work done over the past fifty years, studies show that, although people understand the social and environmental impact of technology products up to some degree, most of them still hold naive ideas about science. This shows that for a complete and effective education in essential concepts, such as «what is science» or «how scientific knowledge is built», formal education at regulated institutions is not enough. A comprehensive education is also required, through family, personal relationships, cinema, literature, newspapers, radio or television. In other words, scientific thinking must be immersed in culture in a broad sense or it will not be popular.This project aims to contribute to this immense task, which is scientific outreach. On the one hand, it seeks to surpass the mechanical narrative, often built by the scientific community itself, where a romantic idea of research work is offered, to present a more accurate and complex view of what science is and how it operates nowadays. On the other hand, to stimulate, both scientists and the general public, in the search of a worldview (from the German Weltanschauung - Welt: «world» and anschauung: «conception, observation»). To have a worldview means simultaneously to form an image of the world and of yourself: knowing what the world is and knowing what you are. This, taken as a process of personal construction, not only generates citizens, but also satisfies the need for «knowledge» of human beings and is an indispensable tool to contextualize the fragmented information that floods our time. In this context, literature, besides being attractive, has the ability to bring us to diffuse concepts in a natural way. Through a collection of narrations, mainly in the form of literary chronicles, relevant themes will be exposed on the border between science, society and technology, with a humanistic perspective, and from a Brazilian context projected to the rest of the world.

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