Models of Public Understanding: The Politics of Public Engagement


In this paper, I will highlight some of the assumptions underlying the new language and approach in the field of science communication, –that is, the language of public engagement or social appropriation. My goal is to show how an understanding of the political implications of different models of science communication can help us negotiate the relationships of power and authority that are at stake. Recognizing the political complexity of the public engagement context can help in identifying the scholarly questions that need to be explored, as well as the more practical questions that need to be asked in evaluations of particular events, activities, and institutions.
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Lewenstein, B. V. (2011). Models of Public Understanding: The Politics of Public Engagement. ArtefaCToS. Journal of Science and Technology Studies, 3(1), 13–29. Retrieved from


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Author Biography

Bruce V. Lewenstein

Cornell University
Professor of Science Communication. Cornell University. 321 Kennedy Hall. Ithaca, NY 14853 (Estados Unidos)