Science of the People : Understanding and using science in everyday contexts book cover
1st Edition

Science of the People
Understanding and using science in everyday contexts

ISBN 9781138108301
Published June 16, 2017 by Routledge
256 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

How do people understand science? How do they feel about science, how do they relate to it, what do they hope from it and what do they fear about it? Science of the People: Understanding and using science in everyday contexts helps answer these questions as the result of painstaking interviewing by Professor Joan Solomon of all and sundry in a fairly typical small town. The result is a unique overview of how a very wide range of adults, united only by local geography, relate to science. Many of the findings run contrary to what is widely believed about how science is learnt and about how people view it. Chapters include:

  • An Approach to Awareness
  • Publics for Science?
  • Ethics and Action
  • Interpretation and Change

Joan Solomon, who sadly died before this book could be published, enjoyed an international reputation in science education. After a long career teaching science in secondary schools she moved into the university sector and ending up holding chairs of science education at the Open University, King’s College London and the University of Plymouth. She was a world leader in her subject and inspired classroom teachers and wrote a number of very influential papers with some of them. She produced many important books, booklets and other resources to help science teachers and science educators get to grips with the history and philosophy of science and the teaching of energy, amongst other topics.


This book is essential reading for those involved in Science education and educational policy.

Table of Contents

1. An Approach to Awareness  2. Publics for Science?  3. Science Literary?  4. About Questions and Answers  5. "What are you Interests in Science?"  6. How the Groups Link Up  7. Talking, Talking  8. Outrageous Fortune  9. Ethics and Action  10. Risk  11. Interpretation and Change  12. Scientific Literacy in Post-Modern Space and Time

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Joan Solomon was Professor at the Open University, King's College London and the University of Plymouth.


"How do most people view science? Do they picture bushy-haired, mad researchers wielding strange machines and noxious chemicals, or do they see calm, knowledgeable people who make advances in technology and medicine for the good of society? Solomon, a UK academic, undertook to answer this question, one of great importance to science educators, by conducting in-depth interviews with the inhabitants of an unnamed small town in England she calls "Market Town."...Summing Up: Recommended"- C. G. Wood, formerly, Eastern Maine Community College, for CHOICE, August 2013