How Does Television Represent Science?

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Zurawski, Richard
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This thesis examines the relationship between science and television by working within the framework of Grounded Theory, extracting data from a literature review and a series of interviews with scientists, television scientists and broadcast science producers, and then examining the collected data through a perspective provided by the works of Noam Chomsky, Marshall McLuhan and George Lakoff. My analysis of the data concludes that science as represented by scientists and science as represented by television production are two solitudes. In spite of the fact, that both scientists and science broadcaster/producers work within a milieu each group defines as "science", neither understands the perspective or the concerns of the other. In addition, generally, there is a marked distain between the two groups based on the other’s perspective of what is considered to be science. Each group works within an institutional framework that is self serving and isolated from the other. Though there have been efforts to bring these two groups together to find common ground, they are marked more by their failures than their successes. The major science issues facing us as a society, especially with crises such as anthropogenic global warming, underscore the seriousness of this divide as it relates to the public’s general low level of science, the growing lack of appreciation of the importance of science education and the loss of respect for scientists and science.These findings are helpful in getting a better understanding of the oft overlooked place that science has in society and its importance to the health of our society. If common ground can be found, not only scientists and science broadcaster/producers, but society has a lot to gain. These two groups are encouraged to connect with each other and find solutions to bridging the divide that has grown between them.
Television - Science , Science Education