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Multiplying Perspectives

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Title: Multiplying Perspectives


1
Multiplying Perspectives
  • Popularization and Public Understanding of
    Science Using Multicultural Approaches
  • Amin Tejpar

Prepared for the 2nd African Congress for
Scientific Research Technology Popularization
Public Understanding of the Importance of
Scientific Research Technology for the
Development of the African Continent November 6
8, 2006 Cairo Egypt
2
Multiplying Perspectives
  • Need for Public Understanding of Science
  • History of Popularization of Science
  • Framework for Popularization of Science Using
    Multicultural Approaches

3
1 Need for Public Understanding of Science
4
Public Understanding of Science
  • Scientific Method and Critical Inquiry
  • Are intrinsic to the human spirit
  • Lend themselves to critical thinking about social
    and natural environments
  • Can promote transformative action and peace,
    leading to stronger, healthier communities

5
Need for Public Understanding
  • Wider public understanding of science
  • Development of robust environments that support
    scientific and technological research
    development
  • Development of strong civil societies
  • Development of strong democratic societies

6
Public Understanding of Science
  • VICIOUS Circles of Public Understanding
  • Weakens and impoverishes environment for
    scientific and technological research and
    development
  • VIRTUOUS Circles of Public Understanding
  • Strengthens and enriches environment for
    scientific and technological research and
    development

7
Lack of Support for Science
Lack of Science Education
Threat of Science
Vicious Circle of Public Understanding
Suspicion of Science
Poor Awareness of Science
8
Support for Science
Good Science Education
Cultural Synergy with Science
Virtuous Circle of Public Understanding
Trust in Science
Awareness of Science
9
2 History of Popularization of Science
10
History of Popularization
  • Long history of popularization of scientific
    knowledge in many different cultures.
  • Different approaches and perspectives on
    scientific knowledge and the role of public
    understanding.
  • Multiple ways in which knowledge is disseminated
    in societies.

11
History of Popularization
  • In many societies, knowledge about the natural
    world are passed on from generation to
    generation
  • Stories
  • Poetry
  • Art

12
Innovations in Papermaking 9th century China,
Samarkand, Baghdad
  • Popularization of knowledge rises rapidly
  • Geography (travelogues)
  • Biology (plants and animals)
  • Astronomy (charts)
  • Economics (banking, accounting)
  • Numeric systems (mathematical and scientific
    literacy)

13
Al-Jahiz 9th century African Scholar
  • Bernard Lewis One of the greatest prose writers
    in classical Arabic literature.
  • One of earliest promoters of the idea of
    biological evolutionism.
  • Wrote Wonders of Creation, a book to help lay
    readers understand the nature of animals
  • Social organization of insects
  • Animal communication
  • Disabilities in childhood

14
Encyclopedias of Knowledge 10th century (North
Africa, Iran, Asia)
  • Rise of encyclopedias of knowledge
  • Covered all kinds of topics
  • Science
  • Geography
  • Meteorology
  • Astronomy
  • Global Histories
  • Travelogues

15
Central Asia 11th century mathematicians
  • Mathematicians gave practical workshops to help
    artisans construct geometrical patterns.

16
Innovations in Printing China, Korea, and Europe
  • Popularization reaches new heights
  • Access to all fields of human knowledge for those
    who can afford it

17
Experiment on a Bird in the Air-Pump, Joseph
Wright, 1768
18
England 19th century
  • Explosion of popularization of science and
    technology.
  • Many forms of popularization
  • Science and natural history museums
  • Public lectures
  • Royal patronage
  • Journals and media
  • Societies to promote public understanding
  • Churches and religious organizations

19
Contemporary America
  • Large investment in public understanding of
    science and technology
  • Science museums and interpretive centers
  • NGOs, scientific societies and organizations
  • Media (TV, books, popular magazines, Internet)
  • Public outreach in schools and community centers
  • Camps and educational initiatives
  • Environmental education and awareness

20
How does Knowledge Flow in Different Societies
and Cultures?
21
3 Framework for Popularization of Science Using
Multicultural Approaches
22
Framework for Popularization of Science
  • Three Key Issues to Address
  • The (mis)representation of science and technology
    as a uniquely Eurocentric enterprise.
  • The tension between global science and local
    knowledge.
  • The crisis of dialogue between researchers and
    the general public.

23
Framework for Popularization of Science
  • Engagement with science by different communities
    and different sectors of society.
  • The role of civil societies in promoting science
    and technology.
  • Democratization of knowledge at all levels of
    science and technology production.

24
Framework for Popularization of Science
  • Three Key Issues to Address
  • The (mis)representation of science and technology
    as a uniquely Eurocentric enterprise.
  • The tension between global science and local
    knowledge.
  • The crisis of dialogue between researchers and
    the general public.

25
Afro-Eurasian Ecumene
26
History of Scientific Thought
Hellenic Egypt
African/ Egyptian
Chinese
Iranian
Sabaean
Greek
Syrian
Babylonian
Arabic/ Islamic
Byzantine
Phoenician
European
Mesopotamian
Medieval Indian
Ancient Indian
27
Metallurgy in Ancient and Medieval Africa
  • West Africa
  • East Africa
  • South Africa

28
Indigenous ecologies
  • Relationship between communities and their
    natural environments.
  • Sustainable and ecologically sound agricultural
    and food production practices.
  • Knowledge of ethno-botanies and ethno-zoologies.

29
Water technologies
30
Geography and Cartography
Al-Idrisis world map
31
GLOBES AND SPHERICAL INSTRUMENTS
32
Map Projections
33
Astronomy
34
ASTRONOMICAL INSTRUMENTS
35
ASTRONOMICAL INSTRUMENTS
36
Observatories
37
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38
Medicine and Health
The Result of Thinking about the Cure of Eye
Diseases (Natijat al-fikar fi ilaj amrad
al-basar) written in Cairo by Fath al-Din
al-Qaysi
39
The Anatomy of the Human Body (Tashrih-i badan-i
insan) written in Persian at the end of the 14th
century by Mansur ibn Ilyas
40
Pulmonary Circulation of Blood (al-Nafis, 1241)
  • ...  the blood from the right chamber of the
    heart must arrive at the left chamber, but there
    is no direct pathway between them. The thick
    septum of the heart is not perforated and does
    not have visible pores as some people thought or
    invisible pores as Galen thought. The blood from
    the right chamber must flow through the vena
    arteriosa (pulmonary artery) to the lungs, spread
    through its substance, be mingled with air, pass
    through the arteria venosa (Pulmonary vein) to
    reach the left chamber of the heart ...

41

                                                                              


42
Mechanical Devices and Machines
43
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44
Time-Keeping
45
MINUTE BALANCE
46
WATER CLOCKS
47
OTHER TIME KEEPING DEVICES
48
Commerce
  • Trade
  • Banking and Accounting
  • Cheques
  • Paper technology
  • Accounting

49
Commerce and Trade
  • Strong links between Africa and
  • Middle East
  • South Asia
  • Southeast Asia
  • China
  • Europe

50
(No Transcript)
51

                                                                                                             

52
Navigation and Shipbuilding
53
(No Transcript)
54
Military
55
(No Transcript)
56
(No Transcript)
57
Anatomy of the Eye
www.macula.org
58
Making Sense of a 3-D world
59
(No Transcript)
60
Ibn al Haytham and Experimentation
  • Experimentation produces certainty
  • (TAJRIBA )

61
Modernity Has Been Co-Created
  • World is an economic, scientific, and
    technological nexus.
  • Cultures create knowledge in response to each
    other, rarely in isolation.
  • There are multiple modernities, each with its own
    trajectories and futures.

62
Framework for Popularization of Science
  1. The (mis)representation of science and technology
    as a uniquely Eurocentric enterprise.

REPRESENTATION OF SCIENCE
MY COMMUNITY MY IDENTITY
63
Framework for Popularization of Science
  1. The (mis)representation of science and technology
    as a uniquely Eurocentric enterprise. RESPONSE
    Promote greater public awareness of cultural
    histories and local knowledge

64
Greater Public Awareness of Cultural Histories
  • Interpretation centers
  • Oral histories
  • Visual records
  • Inter-generational activities
  • Public forums
  • Build on historical strengths, values and
    creativity of local cultures and communities

65
Framework for Popularization of Science
  • Three Key Issues to Address
  • The (mis)representation of science and technology
    as a uniquely Eurocentric enterprise.
  • The tension between global science and local
    knowledge.
  • The crisis of dialogue between researchers and
    the general public.

66
Global Science
  • Culturally universal, objective, and
    value-neutral.
  • Easily transferable from one culture to another.
  • Superior to all other forms of knowledge
    (technicism and scientism).

67
Global Science
HIV Virus / Antiretroviral Drugs
Molecular Biology
Genomics / Bioinformatics
Pharmaceuticals
BIG SCIENCE
68
Global Science is Negotiated Locally
  • Diverse virus in a very diverse continent.
  • Cuts across multiple levels
  • Gender
  • Socio-economic issues
  • Religious beliefs
  • Kinship and family
  • Most important solutions may come by drawing
    from local cultures

69
Wangari Muta Maathai Green Belt Movement (Kenya)
Protection of Local Biodiversity
Civil Society
Good Governance
ECOLOGY
Human Rights
Democracy
70
Darb al-Ahmar Community Bayt al-Mustaqbal Future
House (Cairo)
Protection of Local Environment
Civil Society
Youth Development
URBAN REVITALIZATION
Science Education Awareness
Alternative Sources of Energy
71
Other Virtuous Circles in Africa
  • Holistic approaches to diseases such as AIDS, TB
    and malaria.
  • Community approaches to alternative sources of
    energy.
  • Civil society approaches to science education and
    public awareness.

72
Framework for Popularization of Science
  • 2. The tension between global science and
    local knowledge.

GLOBAL SCIENCE
LOCAL KNOWLEDGE
73
Framework for Popularization of Science
  • 2. The tension between global science and
    local knowledge. RESPONSE Promote greater
    public engagement and participation in science
    by building civil societies to respond to global
    science locally.

74
Framework for Popularization of Science
  • Three Key Issues to Address
  • The (mis)representation of science and technology
    as a uniquely Eurocentric enterprise.
  • The tension between global science and local
    knowledge.
  • The crisis of dialogue between researchers and
    the general public.

75
Dominant View of Popularization
  • Scientists/elites are holders and producers of
    authentic knowledge of the natural world.
  • Popularization provides a streamlined and
    simplified version of this knowledge to the
    general public.

76
Scientific Monologue
AUTHORITY
INTERPRETER MEDIATOR
PUBLIC
77
Ever Widening Gap
  • Science is becoming increasingly complex and
    technical.
  • Lay public is alienated and lacks clear
    understanding of science and technology.
  • At best, disinterested public. At worse, fear of
    science as threat to local ways and beliefs.

78
Research and Community Develop in Synergy
  • Needs of the community guides development of
    research and development
  • Scientific expertise guides community to apply
    knowledge using sound methodologies

Popularization helps knowledge flow both ways
79
Community Outreach
Needs Assessment
Training and Development
CENTER OF EXCELLENCE CENTER OF DIALOGUE
Dialogue and Forums
Community Involvement
80
(No Transcript)
81
Hydroponics Learning Model Urban Revitalization
Program (New York City)
82
Framework for Popularization of Science
  • 3. The crisis of dialogue between researchers and
    the general public.

SCIENTIST / RESEARCHER
GENERAL PUBLIC
83
Framework for Popularization of Science
  • 3. The crisis of dialogue between researchers and
    the general public.

RESPONSE Promote diversity of perspectives and
democratize flow of knowledge between center
and periphery.
84
Gender
Socio- Economic
Urban/ Rural
Multicultural Framework helps to address various
sectors of society
Culture Ethnicity
Marginalized Youth Children
85
Framework for Popularization of Science
  • Three Key Issues to Address
  • The (mis)representation of science and technology
    as a uniquely Eurocentric enterprise.
  • The tension between global science and local
    knowledge.
  • The crisis of dialogue between researchers and
    the general public.
  • Responses
  • Promote greater public awareness of cultural
    histories and local knowledge.
  • Promote greater public engagement and
    participation in science by building strong civil
    societies.
  • Promote diversity of perspectives and democratize
    flow of knowledge.
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