The Place Of Utopia In Todays Science

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The Place Of Utopia In Todays Science

  1. 1. The place of utopiain today’s scienceFilipa M. Ribeiro – Universidade de Aveirofilipa.ribeiro@gmail.com
  2. 2. Outline Relationship between science and utopia in today‟s R&D centres; The role of science communication; Description of today‟s scientists‟ utopias;
  3. 3. Main objectives To understand what utopias scientists have and relate them to key-indicators:  science as a way of knowledge;  science as a job;  science in relation to communication. To understand the possible relations between scientists‟ utopias, the concept of knowledge and contemporary science communication.
  4. 4. Background Both science and utopia examine impossible possibilities that can, in the future, become feasible. Both are guided by ideals and antecipate the future. Utopia opens the way for new paradigms.
  5. 5. Background «how to know» vs the «know-how». Utopia focuses in knowing «how to be». Utopia may release science from its own fears, dogmas and prejudices. It isn‟t enough to know how it is, we must know «how it should be»
  6. 6. Background Utopia shows science that there are not only new paradigms emerging, but also parallel paradigms. Utopia is the motivation to reach new knowledge (through communication). Utopia challenges science, communication and overlaps ethics.
  7. 7. Methods May 2008 – October 2008; 1684 e-mails were sent to scientists from all over the world; Natural sciences: 1149 e-mails Social sciences: 535
  8. 8. Methods Data sample: 388 scientists; Random sampling method; The data about the participants were obtained through:  Public Library of Science (Plos One, Plos Genetics, Plos Clinical Trials, Plos Medicine, Plos Computational Biology, Plos Biology, Plos Pathogens;  the websites of the universities randomly chosen;  a personal contact list.
  9. 9. Methods
  10. 10. Methods Variables:  sex;  age;  geographical location;  scientific field. Question: “What is your greatest utopia as a scientist/researcher?” The obtained data was analyzed using SPSS.
  11. 11. Methods 1.1) science as a type of knowledge;1. collective utopias 1.2) science as a job; 1.3) utopias related to science communication. 2.1) science as a type of2. individual utopias knowledge; 2.2) science as a job; 2.3) utopias related to science communication.3. without utopias
  12. 12. Results Respondents:  average age = 41.7 years;  youngest individual: 24 years old;  oldest individual = 70 years old. Shunting line standard = 8.4 Variance is almost 70.
  13. 13. Results “To have some answers to questions like: do we make the universe or is the universe that makes us?”; “To win the nobel prize”; “I would say reductionism, i.e., understanding macroscopic bahaviour from microscopic laws„”; “To discover an amazing technique or invention or product that would benefit the consumers worldwide and be a hit commercially worldwide”;
  14. 14. Results “That one day scientists will also have the same fame, fans, and finances as some other celebrities have; and that young and old people will look up to, admire and fantacise about scientists”; “God”; “To simulate life”; “The uncovering of new knowledge that is „worth‟ uncovering, and the sight of the face of a student when a new discovery is made in their hands.”;
  15. 15. Results Europe Africa AmericaDistribution of the answers obtained compared to the ones that were sent.
  16. 16. ResultsComparative synthesis CURK: Colective utopia related to knowledgeamong the different types of IUSJ: Individual utopias related to science as a jobutopias within the groups of IUK: Individual utopias related to knowledge IUSC: Individual utopias related to Science communicationnatural and social sciences. NU: No utopias
  17. 17. Results Phylo Psycho Sociol. Econo Journal. Educat. Polit. Demog. Hist. Geog. CU KnowledgeIUKnowledgeIUJOB IU Comm No utopias Synthesis of the type of utopias mentioned in the social sciences group
  18. 18. Results Envir. Astro- Physics Che Eco- Biolo Medi P.H. Maths m Eng. nomy logy gy cineCUKnowledgeIUKnowledgeIUJOBIUCommNoutopias Synthesis of the type of utopias mentioned in the natural sciences group.
  19. 19. ResultsDistribution of utopias according to CURK: Colective utopia related to knowledge IUSJ: Individual utopias related to science as a jobgender within the group of social IUK: Individual utopias related to knowledgesciences. IUSC: Individual utopias related to Science communication NU: No utopias
  20. 20. Results Penso que falta a legenda, ou título do gráf.Distribution of utopias by sex within the group of natural sciences.
  21. 21. Discussion There is a uniformity within the utopias mentioned by researchers from the natural and social sciences; Higher prevalence of researchers without utopias; There are new opportunities towards another concept of science which would be nearer the concept of post-human science;
  22. 22. Discussion There isn‟t an explicit and clear relationship between utopia, science and communication; Science communication is still an activity that is undervalued by the scientific community; Science is still seen as the use of capable rational skills and as a discovery method that postulates freely chosen concepts. e.g.: “I dont relate utopia to science. Science has very well defined and achievable purposes, so theres not much utopic about it” Scientist from Singapore
  23. 23. Summary It was obtained a very realistic environment, which is essential for communication studies; Europe is the Continent with the highest percentage of answers from the category of “no utopias” (34.9%) and Africa has the highest percentage of collective utopias related to knowledge (22.4%); Greater prevalence of individual utopias within the natural sciences, as well as with the utopias related to the job itself.
  24. 24. Summary America is where there are “more complete” visions about science; Gender does not influence views about contemporary science, despite the fact that female researchers express more worries about the impact of science in society;
  25. 25. I believe……that utopia is the greatest challenge that mankindhas to deal with…and…If you can look into the seeds of time and say whichgrain will grow and which will not, speak… William Shakespeare, Macbeth
  26. 26. Questions, comments,suggestions…Thank you for your attention! filipa.ribeiro@gmail.com

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