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Concepts of science and technology popularization in the political speech: some thoughts on science museums

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Ana Maria Navas
Total Authors: 1
Document type: Master's Dissertation
Press: São Paulo.
Institution: Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Faculdade de Educação (FE/SBD)
Defense date:
Examining board members:
Martha Marandino; Sibele Cazelli; Silvia Luzia Frateschi Trivelato
Advisor: Martha Marandino

This research aims to characterize the concepts of science and technology popularization (S&T) that guided the discourse and the actions of the Science and Technology Ministry (STM) of Brazil, between the years 2003-2006. As part of the process, we examined the relations established among science museums and the processes of popularization and divulgation of science. We took as a standpoint one specific action developed by the STM towards science museums: the Public Call for proposals in financing Museums and Science Centers advertised in 2003. The theoretical framework used was based on studies developed in the area of sociology of science, public science communication, scientific divulgation and communication in museums. We used a qualitative approach with data collected in documents and through interviews. The sources consulted were official documents of the STM from 2003-2006 and the projects presented to the call for proposals. The interviews were performed with the members of the Thematic Committee of Scientific Divulgation of CNPq and professionals of science museums that would benefit from the Grant. The data showed that the popularization of Science and Technology currently receives support by the STM through the consolidation of the Department of Science and Technology for Diffusion and Popularization, including financial support and several other actions. Our analysis also showed that the discourse of popularization of S&T, characterized by tensions between informational and dialogical activities, is divided in the transmission of scientific contents and the incentive to the citizen participation in topics related to science and technology. Despite the predominance of informational activities of MCT, we identified in the governmental policy the intention to abandon deficient models, and to offer spaces for more participative and democratic models. Those intentions appear associated to the formulation of a public policy for popularization of C&T, and indicate an interest for assuming medium and long term commitments. In relation to the selected Public Call, it was evident the governmental intention of enhancing relationships between museum and popularization and science teaching. However, the analyzed projects showed that when this relationship is taken into practice, it privileges informational activities, turning back to the transmission of scientific content and associated to a school audience. Even so, the analysis of all projects presented by the museums to the Public Call showed activities designed for a more general population, and proposed in a participative and democratic context of scientific popularization. Those initiatives reveal the potentiality of the relationship that can be established between museums and science. (AU)

FAPESP's process: 05/04231-0 - Political dimension of science and technology popularization in Brazil: impacts on non-formal education
Grantee:Ana Maria Navas Iannini
Support type: Scholarships in Brazil - Master