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Exploring Epistemic Boundaries Between Scientific and Popular Cultures

Levina, Marina (2010) Exploring Epistemic Boundaries Between Scientific and Popular Cultures. Spontaneous Generations: A Journal for the History and Philosophy of Science, 3 (1). 105 - 112. ISSN 1913-0465

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Abstract

Science studies have long been concerned with the complex interrelationship between scienti?c research and popular culture’s interpretations and reconstructions of scienti?c ?ndings (Kember 2003; Lancaster 2003; Penley 1997, among others). Disparities between the two are often presented as popular culture’s misinterpretation or misrepresentation of scienti?c facts; however, in this essay I argue that a more theoretically lucrative approach understands these con?icts as complex social and cultural negotiations over epistemological boundaries between scienti?c and popular cultures. Understanding such differences is tremendously important in mediated societies where scienti?c research is mostly understood through its representation in the popular culture. In this paper, I examine what is at stake in popular representations of scienti?c research and how the popular culture is often seen as threatening to the epistemic boundaries of scienti?c culture. Using the recent controversy over The Oprah Winfrey Show’ s presentation of controversial medical practices as a case study, this essay examines how distinctions between scienti?c and popular ways of knowing are constructed, represented and managed. I argue that scienti?c knowledge should be viewed as a complex and often con?icted cultural discursive practice that signi?es boundary negotiations between scienti?c and popular cultures.


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Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Levina, Marina
Keywords: Scientific Realism; Epistemic Issues; Epistemology of Science
Subjects: General Issues > Scientific Metaphysics
General Issues > History of Philosophy of Science
General Issues > Realism/Anti-realism
General Issues > Science and Society
General Issues > Technology
General Issues > Values In Science
Depositing User: Jordan Miller
Date Deposited: 11 Sep 2021 16:39
Last Modified: 11 Sep 2021 16:39
Item ID: 17937
Journal or Publication Title: Spontaneous Generations: A Journal for the History and Philosophy of Science
Publisher: The University of Toronto
Official URL: https://spontaneousgenerations.library.utoronto.ca...
DOI or Unique Handle: https://doi.org/10.4245/sponge.v3i1.6569
Subjects: General Issues > Scientific Metaphysics
General Issues > History of Philosophy of Science
General Issues > Realism/Anti-realism
General Issues > Science and Society
General Issues > Technology
General Issues > Values In Science
Date: 11 January 2010
Page Range: 105 - 112
Volume: 3
Number: 1
ISSN: 1913-0465
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/17937

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