Mediation of Knowledge - 2nd semester


By the end of the course, it is expected that students
a) Have acquired a knowledge of the epistemological, hermeneutic, sociological and communicational approaches that aim at mediating science and the other spheres pf knowledge and activity;
b) Understand of the fundamental debates and controversies that have been risen by modern science from the standpoint of science communication;
c) Understand of the historical and cognitive problemization of the relationship between natual-scientif knowledge and social-scientific knowledge;
d) Understand the scope and role of communication science in the background of the relationship between the natural sciences and the social and human sciences;
e) Master the theoretical and practical tools of science communication;
f) Develop na ability for critical reasoning through applying the acquired tools and skills to case studies;
g) Have developed an ability in analytical and synthetical reasoning;
h) Have acquired an ability in autonomous learning, according to parameters of motivation to excellence.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Fernando Cascais


Weekly - 4

Total - Available soon

Teaching language





Cascais, António Fernando (2007), “A mediação dos saberes no pós-guerra das ciências”, Revista de Comunicação e Linguagens, nº 38 - “Mediação dos Saberes”, pp. 91-109
Cascais, António Fernando (2005), “A ciência e as suas retóricas”, Revista de Comunicação e Linguagens, nº 36 - “Comover e convencer”, pp. 129-142
Santos, Boaventura de Sousa (1999), Um discurso sobre as ciências. Porto: Edições Afrontamento
2005 - “A retórica dos resultados na comunicação da ciência”, Comunicação e Sociedade, nº 6 - “Comunicação Pública da Ciência”, pp. 135-150

Teaching method

Oral presentation (60%), textual analysis and discussion of empirical cases (40%).

Evaluation method

The evaluation procedure consists of two written tests, with a 100% bearing on the final mark. Assiduity doest not count for the final mark. The final exam is alternative to the written test, if its mark is below 80/100; it may exceptionally be replaced by an oral test.

Subject matter

1. Popularization, broadcasting, public understanding and mediation of science
2. Mediations of science
2.1 Epistemological mediation
2.1.1 Doxa versus episteme
2.1.2 Science revolutions and progress
2.2 Hermeneutical mediation
2.2.1 The Methodenstreit and its overcoming
2.2.2 Rhetorics of/in science
2.3 Sociological mediation
2.3.1 Progress and specialization; unity versus desunity of the sciences
2.3.2 Scientific field, laboratory, epistemic culture
2.3.3 Risk and uncertainty and risk communication
2.3.4 The emergent paradigm
3. The Public Understanding of Science (PUS) model
3.1 The PUS model: science
3.2 The PUS model: understanding of science
3.3 The PUS model: the public of science
4. The crisis of the PUS model
4.1 The crisis of the PUS: the changing notions of science
4.2. The crisis of the PUS: the changing notions of the understanding of science
4.3 The crisis of the PUS: the changing notions of the public