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Dimensions of evidence, the public understanding of science and science education

journal contribution
posted on 01.01.2001, 00:00 authored by Russell TytlerRussell Tytler, S Duggan, R Gott
This paper explores the nature and type of evidence employed by participants in an issue of public concern. By examining documents and interviewing members of the public involved in the debate, the way in which evidence was used in the arguments for and against the issue was determined. Three dimensions of evidence emerged from the data: formal scientific evidence based on the data; informal evidence (e.g. common sense, personal experience) and wider issues which impinge on the evidence (e.g. environmental or legal concerns). In this particular controversy, it was the questioning of the formal evidence by local scientists which became the 'magic bullet' but pertinent questioning by local nonscientists also framed the debate. The authors suggest that school science curricula should include practice in questioning and manipulating different sorts of real data in a variety of ways so that pupils are equipped and empowered to tackle contemporary issues of this kind.

History

Journal

International journal of science education

Volume

23

Issue

8

Pagination

815 - 832

Publisher

Taylor & Francis

Location

London, England

ISSN

0950-0693

eISSN

1464-5289

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2001, Taylor & Francis

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