Scholarly Work

For those who wish to push deeper into the field: This section is a bit more eclectic, and is less (in fact, probably not at all) likely to be of interest to people just getting started in the field —

History of public understanding of science

  • Burnham, John. (1987). How Superstition Won and Science Lost: Popularizing Science and Health in the United States. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.
  • Cooter, Roger. 1984. The Cultural Meaning of Popular Science: Phrenology and the Organization of Consent in Nineteenth Century Britain. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • LaFollette, M. C. (1990). Making Science Our Own: Public Images of Science, 1910-1955. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
  • LaFollette, M. C. (2008). Science on the air : popularizers and personalities on radio and early television. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
  • LaFollette, M. C. (2009). Scientific and Technical Publishing in the United States, 1880-1950. In A History of the Book in America (1880-1950)(Vol. 4, 1880-1950). Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press.
  • LaFollette, Marcel Chotkowski. (2012). Science on American Television: A History. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
  • Lightman, Bernard V. (2007). Victorian popularizers of science : designing nature for new audiences. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
  • Lewenstein, Bruce V. 1992. The Meaning of ‘Public Understanding of Science’ in the United States After World War II. Public Understanding of Science 1 (1):45-68.
  • Lewenstein, B. V. (2009). Science Books Since 1945. In D. P. Nord, J. S. Rubin & M. Schudson (Eds.), The Enduring Book: Print Culture in Postwar America (pp. 347-360). Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press.

Theory/conceptual approaches to public understanding of science

  • Bauer, M. W., Allum, N., & Miller, S. (2007). What can we learn from 25 years of PUS survey research? Liberating and expanding the agenda. Public Understanding of Science, 16(1), 79-95.
  • Cheng, D., Claessens, M., Gascoigne, T., Metcalfe, J., Schiele, B., & Shi, S. (Eds.). (2008). Communicating Science in Social Contexts: New Models, New Practices. Brussels: Springer, for the European Commission. [Overview articles]
  • Hilgartner, S. (1990). The Dominant View of Popularization: Conceptual Problems, Political Uses. Social Studies of Science, 20(3), 519-539.
  • Irwin, A. (1995). Citizen science : a study of people, expertise, and sustainable development. London ; New York: Routledge.
  • Lewenstein, Bruce V. 1995. From Fax to Facts: Communication in the Cold Fusion Saga. Social Studies of Science 25 (3):403-436.
  • Miller, Steve. (2001). Public understanding of science at the crossroads. Public Understanding of Science, 10(1), 115-120.
  • Schiele, Bernard, ed. 1994. When Science Becomes Culture: World Survey of Scientific Culture. Boucherville, Quebec: University of Ottawa Press.
  • Shinn, Terry, and Richard Whitley, eds. 1985. Expository Science: Forms and Functions of Popularisation. Vol. 9, Sociology of the Sciences. Dordrecht/Boston/Lancaster: D. Reidel.
  • Wynne, Brian. 1989. Sheep Farming After Chernobyl: A Case Study in Communicating Scientific Information. Environment Magazine 31 (2):10-15, 33-39.
  • Wynne, Brian. 1991. Knowledges in Context. Science, Technology & Human Values 16 (1):111-121.
  • Wynne, Brian (1995). Public Understanding of Science. In S. Jasanoff & G. E. Markle & J. C. Petersen & T. Pinch (Eds.), Handbook of Science and Technology Studies (pp. 361-388). Thousand Oaks, Ca.: Sage.
  • Ziman, John. 1991. Public Understanding of Science. Science, Technology & Human Values 16 (1 (Winter)):99-105.
  • Ziman, John. 1992. Not Knowing, Needing to Know, and Wanting to Know. In When Science Meets the Public, edited by B. V. Lewenstein. Washington: American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Science journalism

  • Bauer, Martin, & Bucchi, Massimiano (Eds.). (2007). Journalism, Science and Society: Science Communication Between News and Public Relations. London: Routledge.
  • Friedman, Sharon M., Dunwoody, Sharon, & Rogers, Carol L. (Eds.). (1986). Scientists and Journalists: Reporting Science as News. New York: The Free Press. [dated, but a classic]
  • Friedman, S., Dunwoody, S., & Rogers, C. (Eds.). (1999). Communicating Uncertainty: Media Coverage of New and Controversial Science. Mahwah, N.J.: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
  • Rödder, Simone, Franzen, Martina, & Weingart, Peter (Eds.). (2012). The sciences’ media connection : public communication and its repercussions. Dordrecht ; New York: Springer.

Public participation/public engagement in science

  • Fisher, Erik. (2011). Editorial Overview [special issue on public engagement]. [10.1007/s11948-011-9331-x]. Science And Engineering Ethics, 17(4), 607-620.
  • Lewenstein, Bruce V. (initiator). (2012-). Wiki page: Public Engagement in Science, from
  • McCallie, Ellen, Bell, Larry, Lohwater, Tiffany, Falk, John, Lehr, Jane H., Lewenstein, Bruce V., Needham, Cynthia, Wiehe, Ben. (2009). Many Experts, Many Audiences: Public Engagement with Science and Informal Science Education.  A CAISE Inquiry Group Report (pp. 83). Washington, DC: Center for Advancement of Informal Science Education. [Download from here]
  • Bauer, Martin W. (2014). A word from the Editor on the special issue on ‘Public Engagement’. [introduction to special issue.] Public Understanding of Science, 23(1), 3. doi: 10.1177/0963662513518149

Science museums

  • Beetlestone, John G., Colin H. Johnson, Melanie Quin, and Harry White. 1998. The Science Center Movement: contexts, practice, next challenges. Public Understanding of Science 7 (1):5-26.
  • Bradburne, James M. 1998. Dinosaurs and white elephants: the science center in the twenty-first century. Public Understanding of Science 7 (3):237-253.
  • Persson, Per-Edvin. 2000. Science centers are thriving and going strong! Public Understanding of Science 9 (4):449-460.
  • Schiele, B., & Koster, E. H. (Eds.). (2000). Science Centers for this Century. St. Foy, Quebec: Editions Multimondes.

Citizen science

The literature in this area is growing rapidly.  Some entry points are:

  • Bonney, Rick, Ballard, Heidi, Jordan, Rebecca, McCallie, Ellen, Phillips, Tina, Shirk, Jennifer, & Wilderman, Candie C. (2009). Participation in Scientific Research: Defining the Field and Assessing Its Potential for Informal Science Education CAISE Inquiry Group Reports. Washington, DC: Center for Advancement of Informal Science Education. [Download free from here.]
  • Dickinson, Janis L., & Bonney, Rick (Eds.). (2012). Citizen science : public participation in environmental research. Ithaca: Comstock Pub. Associates.
  • Shirk, Jennifer L., Ballard, Heidi L., Wilderman, Candie C., Phillips, Tina, Wiggins, Andrea, Jordan, Rebecca, McCallie, Ellen, Minarchek, Matthew, Lewenstein, Bruce V., Krasny, Marianne E., Bonney, Rick. (2012). Public Participation in Scientific Research: A Framework for Intentional Design. Ecology and Society, 17(2), 29-48. doi: 10.5751/ES-04705-170229
  • Bonney, Rick, Shirk, Jennifer L., Phillips, Tina B., Wiggins, Andrea, Ballard, Heidi L., Miller-Rushing, Abraham J., & Parrish, Julia K. (2014). Next Steps for Citizen Science. Science, 343(6178), 1436-1437. doi: 10.1126/science.1251554

The newly-formed Citizen Science Association held its first meeting in February 2015 and is launching a journal for the field in 2015. Watch for the announcement!

The journal JCOM: Journal of Science Communication has issued a call for papers for a special issue on citizen science, to be published in late 2015 or in 2016.

Science literacy: general

  • Bauer, Henry H. Scientific Literacy and the Myth of the Scientific Method. Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1992.
  • Miller, Jon D. 1983. Scientific Literacy: A Conceptual and Empirical Review. Daedalus 112 (2):29-48.
  • Roth, Wolff-Michael, and Angela Calabrese Barton. 2004. Rethinking scientific literacy. New York ; London: RoutledgeFalmer.
  • Shamos, Morris H. The Myth of Scientific Literacy. New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 1995.
  • Shen, B. S. P. (1975). Science Literacy and the Public Understanding of Science. In S. Day (Ed.), Communication of Scientific Information (pp. 44-52). Basel: Karger. [This is a classic and still one of my favorites]

Science literacy: detailed studies and debates on measurement

  • Bauer, Martin. 2000. ‘Science in the media’ as cultural indicator: contextualising surveys with media analysis. In Between understanding and trust: the public, science and technology, edited by M. Dierkes and C. Von Grote. Reading: Harwood Academic Publishers.
  • Bauer, Martin W., K. Petkova, and P. Boyadjjewa. 2000. Public knowledge of and attitudes to science – alternative measures. Science, Technology & Human Values 25 (1):30-51.
  • Bauer, Martin W., and Ingrid Schoon. 1993. Mapping Variety in Public Understanding of Science. Public Understanding of Science 2 (2):141-155.
  • Godin, B., & Gingras, Y. (2000). What is scientific and technological culture and how is it measured? A multidimensional model. Public Understanding of Science, 9(1), 43-58.
  • Kallerud, Emil, and Inge Ramburg. 2002. The order of discourse in surveys of public understanding of science. Public Understanding of Science 11 (3):213-224.
  • Miller, Jon D.1992. Toward a Scientific Understanding of the Public Understanding of Science and Technology. Public Understanding of Science 1 (1):23-26.
  • Miller, Jon D. 1998. The measurement of civic scientific literacy. Public Understanding of Science 7 (3):203-223.
  • Miller, Jon D., and Linda G. Kimmel. 2001. Biomedical Communications: Purposes, Audiences, Strategies. New York: Academic Press.
  • Miller, Jon D., R. Pardo, and F. Niwa. 1997. Public Attitudes Toward Science and Technology: A Comparative Study of the European Union, the United States, Japan, and Canada. Madrid: BBV Foundation.
  • Miller, Jon D., K. Prewitt, and R. Pearson. 1980. The Attitudes of the U.S. Public Towards Science and Technology. Chicago: National Opinion Research Center.
  • Office of Science and Technology, and Wellcome Trust. 2000. Science and the Public: A Review of Science Communication and Public Attitudes to Science in Britain. London: Wellcome Trust.
  • Sturgis, Patrick, and Nick Allum. 2004. Science in Society: Re-evaluating the Deficit Model of Public Attitudes. Public Understanding of Science 13 (1):55-74.

Science education

  • American Association for the Advancement of Science. (1993). Benchmarks for Science Literacy. New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Bransford, John, Brown, Ann L., & Cocking, Rodney R. (Eds.). (2000). How people learn: brain, mind, experience, and school (Expanded ed.). Washington, DC: National Academies Press. [download for free from NAS website]
  • Bybee, R. W. (1997). Achieving Scientific Literacy: From Purposes to Practices. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.
  • Duschl, Richard A., Schweingruber, Heidi A., & Shouse, Andrew W. (Eds.). (2007). Taking Science to School: Learning and Teaching cience in Grades K-8. Washington, DC: National Academies Press. [download for free from NAS website]
  • National Research Council. 1996. National Science Education Standards. Washington: National Academy Press. [superceded by “Next Generation Science Standards]
  • Next Generation Science Standards (, which are based on National Research Council. (2012). A Framework for K-12 Science Education: Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Core Ideas. Washington, DC: National Academies Press [download for free from NAS website].
  • Project 2061. (1989). Science for All Americans. Washington, D.C.: AAAS.

Risk communication

Risk communication is a huge field; these are just some classics that I know about – people interested should consult more thorough reviews available elsewhere.

  • Douglas, M., and A. Wildavsky. 1982. Risk and Culture: An Essay on the Selection of Technical and Environmental Dangers. Berkeley: University of California Press.
  • Fischhoff, Baruch. 1995. Risk perception and communication unplugged: Twenty years of process. Risk Analysis 12:137-145.
  • National Research Council (U.S.). Committee on Risk Perception and Communication. 1989. Improving risk communication. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press.
  • Pidgeon, Nick F., Roger E. Kasperson, and Paul Slovic, eds. 2003. The social amplification of risk. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Slovic, Paul. 1987. Perception of Risk. Science 236 (17 April):280-285.

Development communication

So…it’s increasingly clear to me that literature on development communication (including issues of community participation, participatory action research, and democracy and engagement) is relevant to studying public communication of science and technology. But I don’t know that literature, so I don’t know what to list. But you should go look for it!


Anyone interested in the field should consult the two scholarly journals that focus on public communication of science and technology, Public Understanding of Science and Science Communication, perhaps by reading through the tables of contents of recent volumes and finding articles of interest.

In addition, the social media world is now full of science communication discussions, both practical and academic. Personally, I follow the Twitter hashtag #scicomm, but I’m not the most adept social media user — other hashtags may be more useful for your interests. I also follow a daily aggregation, the #SciComm Daily.

In closing, the lists above undoubtedly leave out resources, books, articles, or other materials that some readers believe should be here. Suggestions for additions would be happily accepted.