Why do we label science education?

by webmaster on April 7, 2009

Something occurred to me today about communicating science, particularly the difficulties in doing it well. We were discussing the success of TV shows about science, and I began to wonder about the success of show like Brainiac (Sky UK) and other shows that show what we could call ‘cool science’ like Mythbusters for instance.

Is there a need for a science show to label itself or advertise itself as such? Why not educate people about science without actually saying it’s science? Mythbusters (Discovery) has loads of science in it but never labels itself as a science show.

Of course there are other things going on as well. The items are short, snappy, there’s explosions, guns etc.
But let’s just think about the labelling. If you were to ask people who watch those type of programs in a structured survey if they consider themselves to be watching science they would probably say no. This requires some further thought. Communicating science or educating people in science without them knowing it, hmmm…

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