Science Divulgation: the Social Representations of Brazilian Researchers Working in the Field of Astronomy
This article addresses the role of scientific divulgation in the interaction between science and society, debating the importance of Astronomy as a prime starter of the scientific divulgation. In the light of Moscovici’s Social Representations Theory, the social representations on scientific divulgation of Brazilian researchers that work in the field of Astronomy are studied. Individuals from different educational trajectories answered semi-structured interviews, which were analyzed according to Spink. The results indicate two representations: one for the society at large, moved by passion, based on values and beliefs, and on the satisfaction of seeing the results of their actions on people’s life; and another for their peers. In the first representation, gaps that obstruct the science divulgation emerge, such as the lack of training and the difficulty to use a plain language, the bureaucracy required for the projects’ execution and its negative representation in the media. Other inferences are that Astronomy is neither part of a systematic teaching nor a part of the media at large, and it often presents conceptual mistakes. Those representations find an echo in the theoretical framework, showing that, despite their advances, scientific divulgation and Astronomy Education are in a context of social fragility.