"Everyone May Think Whatever They Like, but Scientists ...": Or How and to What End Plant Scientists Manage the Science-Society Relationship

Karen Mogendorff*, Hedwig te Molder, Bart Gremmen, Cees van Woerkum

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

In this study, the authors examine the performative functions of scientists' discursive constructions of the science-society relationship. They use discursive psychology to analyze interviews with Dutch plant scientists and show that interviewees contrast the freedom of people in the private sphere with scientists' responsibilities in the professional sphere to regulate "lay" access to science. To accomplish this, interviewees make claims about the scientific value of lay views only after they have displayed their tolerance of these views. Additionally, many interviewees refer to their own lay status in everyday life. Finally, the relationship between findings and recent science communication approaches is discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)727-751
Number of pages25
JournalScience Communication
Volume34
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2012
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • discursive psychology
  • displays of tolerance
  • linguistic anthropology
  • plant genomics
  • scientists' understanding of laypeople

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