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Friday, June 13, 2008

What kind of science TV viewer are you?

I found an interesting article a couple of weeks ago called "Science on TV: forms and reception of science programmes on French television" by Suzanne de Cheveigné and Eliséo Véron in the journal Public Understanding of Science (vol 5 (1996) pp.231-253).  Science programs, of course, are BIG here in the US and in the UK and less so in France (they hardly have any TV channels to watch--even fewer in 1996!) Regardless, these researchers were able to conduct interviews and categorize reactions that the general public had to watching science programs.

  Overall, the reactions depended upon two factors:
1) "the legitimacy accorded to television as a source of knowledge;
2) the type of memories left by their school experience"

From these two, they were able to schematically plot four main readings:

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