Science and Society


It is intended to characterize and understand the implications of knowledge and scientific production in society starting from a culture of historical base that allows to critically analyze the current reality and to envision future challenges of science before society.

Stimulate the ability to identify / analyze processes of knowledge construction, its transmission and appropriation by society, taking into account the demands and problems that arise in this domain.

Identify the diversity of mechanisms and interactions between science and society, in the historical perspective and in the present, covering areas such as ethics and risk, but also the mechanisms for the apprehension / transmission of scientific knowledge, namely: the means and channels for the dissemination of that knowledge, forms of dissemination (scientific literature, "popularization of science", museums) and other routes such as the institutionalization of science.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Maria Inês Pires Soares da Costa Queiroz


Weekly - 4

Total - 280

Teaching language





J. Gregory and S. Miller, Science in Public: Communication, Culture, and Credibility (Plenum Trade, 1998)
BAUER, Martin W, BUCCHI, Massimiliano, Journalism, Science and Society, Routledge, 2007.
SHAPIN, Steven,The Scientific Revolution, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1996.
FRASCA-SPADA, M. and JARDINE, N. (eds),Books and the Sciences in History, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2000.
FINDLEN, P., Possessing Nature. Museums, Collecting and Scientific Culture in Early-Modern Italy, University of California Press, 1994.
L. HENSON et al (eds) Culture and Science in the Nineteenth-Century Media, Ashgate, Oxford, 2004.
WYNNE, Irwin and B. (eds), Misunderstanding science? The public reconstruction of science and technology, Cambridge University Press, 1996.
GONÇALVES, Maria Eduarda (org.), Cultura Científica e Participação Pública, Celta Editora, Lisboa, 2000.
GREGORY, Jane e MILLER, Steve, Science in Public, Perseus Publishing, London, 1998.

Teaching method

Discussion in session, with a first part of the presentation of the topic and a second phase of discussion of texts (or films / podcasts / blogs, news)
Part of these seminars will count on the participation of specialists to discuss specific problems (in their areas of study on science, scientific research or as policy makers) and visits to spaces for science communication with the general public [Pavilhão do Conhecimento / science museum, military maintenance, FPC and home of the future]

Evaluation method

Attendance (10%) Active participation in seminars, including text discussion (10%)(20%), Collaborative project with NGOs, museums or scientific / research entities (with presentation and defense)(40%), Written work (with presentation defense) / creation of blogs / websites(40%)

Subject matter

Ten sessions will be organized by themes (presentation and discussion); four sessions will be reserved for visits and presentation of papers.

1. Modes of apprehension and society's relationship with scientific knowledge from a historical perspective; the challenges of the social appropriation of knowledge
2. Contexts of promotion / impact of scientific knowledge on the social plane (wars, epidemics, technological revolutions, fundamental discoveries);
3. Means and channels for the dissemination of scientific knowledge: television, radio, web, dissemination literature;
4. Political appropriations of science (eg. Symbolic character of science as power);
5. Scientific policies / science organization;
6. Public involvement / knowledge transmission / science audiences;
7. NGOs and Science;
8. Creation and promotion of scientific culture (museums, scientific dissemination organizations);
9. Science and culture (art, literature, science fiction, entertainment);
10. University / community