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In this article, I detail my involvement in sociopolitical conversations as a science education researcher. I present two of the controversies in which I have been involved in recent years: Metal dust from the Port of Québec (Quebec, Canada) and the Maillé case (the case of a researcher who has to hand over to a private company her research data including the confidential information of the participants who confided to her in interviews). I conclude the article by emphasizing the importance and difficulty of the sociopolitical commitment of researchers.
Cultural Studies of Science Education (2019) 14:293–301
1 3
Speaking outaboutinequities
Received: 6 October 2017 / Accepted: 1 March 2018 / Published online: 23 April 2019
© Springer Nature B.V. 2019
In this article, I detail my involvement in sociopolitical conversations as a science educa-
tion researcher. I present two of the controversies in which I have been involved in recent
years: Metal dust from the Port of Québec (Quebec, Canada) and the Maillé case (the case
of a researcher who has to hand over to a private company her research data including the
confidential information of the participants who confided to her in interviews). I conclude
the article by emphasizing the importance and difficulty of the sociopolitical commitment
of researchers.
Keywords Inequities· Controversies· Participation· Citizens
Dans cet article, je détaille ma participation aux conversations sociopolitiques à titre de
chercheure en éducation aux sciences. Je présente deux des controverses dans lesquelles je
me suis impliquée dans les dernières années: celle autour des poussières métalliques prov-
enant du Port de Québec (Québec, Canada) et l’Affaire Maillé (le cas d’une chercheure qui
doit remettre à une entreprise privée ses données de recherche incluant les informations con-
fidentielles relatives aux participants qui se sont confiés à elle dans le cadre d’entretiens). Je
termine l’article en soulignant l’imporance et la difficulté de l’engagement sociopolitique
des chercheurs.
If you are a person concerned with the state of the world, enraged by inequity,
fuelled by the desire to do something, chances are you’re a ‘feminist killjoy’
(Erin Wunker, Notes from A Feminist Killjoy 2016, p. 33).
February 3, 2017. The main entrance door to the school closes behind me. Outside - the
air is cold and dry, the sunlight, too bright. I take a few steps… then stop. My feet feel
Lead editor: A. J. Rodriguez and B. Upadhyay.
This manuscript is part of the special issue Equity in Science Teacher Education: Toward an Expanded
Definition, guest edited by Brian Fortney, Deb Morrison, Alberto J. Rodriguez and Bhaskar Upadhyay.
* Chantal Pouliot
1 Département d’études sur l’enseignement et l’apprentissage, Université Laval, 2325 Rue de
l’Université, Québec, QCG1V0A6, Canada
Content courtesy of Springer Nature, terms of use apply. Rights reserved.
Full-text available
The book, Engineering in Elementary STEM Education: Curriculum Design, Instruction, Learning, and Assessment, written by Cunningham (Engineering in elementary STEM education: curriculum design, instruction, learning, and assessment, Teachers College Press, New York, 2018), highlights examples of engineering curriculum and pedagogy that Cunningham and her team have developed for the last 15 years. Additionally, she contends that engineering education has the potential to provide underrepresented students with opportunities to experience authentic and relevant STEM education, as well as to help them understand their strengths and abilities as future scientists or engineers. Given the popularity of this book and of the Engineering is Elementary (EiE) curriculum on which it is based, we conducted a critical review essay to more closely examine Cunningham’s claims. Using sociotransformative constructivism, as a theoretical framework, we found Cunningham’s book and supporting EiE curriculum to be rich resources of well-intended concepts and activities for integrating engineering practices in the science classroom. However, the EiE curriculum—like many other curriculum materials in the field—fall short of meeting their equity and diversity goals. In this essay, we argue that some of the EiE curriculum highlighted in Cunningham’s book seem to unintentionally promote colonized thinking, romanticized notions of engineering as a pure human endeavor; and culturally and socially unauthentic scenarios. Our goal is to generate reflection and transformative discussions so that we can elevate this and similar types of popular curriculum. To this end, we also offer suggestions for making STEM curriculum more culturally and socially relevant.
Full-text available
Federal appellate courts have devised several criteria to help judges distinguish between reliable and unreliable scientific evidence. The best known are the U.S. Supreme Court's criteria offered in 1993 in Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc. This article focuses on another criterion, offered by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, that instructs judges to assign lower credibility to "litigation science" than to science generated before litigation. In this article I argue that the criterion-based approach to judicial screening of scientific evidence is deeply flawed. That approach buys into the faulty premise that there are external criteria, lying outside the legal process, by which judges can distinguish between good and bad science. It erroneously assumes that judges can ascertain the appropriate criteria and objectively apply them to challenged evidence before litigation unfolds, and before methodological disputes are sorted out during that process. Judicial screening does not take into account the dynamics of litigation itself, including gaming by the parties and framing by judges, as constitutive factors in the production and representation of knowledge. What is admitted through judicial screening, in other words, is not precisely what a jury would see anyway. Courts are sites of repeated re-representations of scientific knowledge. In sum, the screening approach fails to take account of the wealth of existing scholarship on the production and validation of scientific facts. An unreflective application of that approach thus puts courts at risk of relying upon a "junk science" of the nature of scientific knowledge.
Humanity is facing many serious realized and predicted problems for wellbeing of individuals, societies and environments associated with influences of powerful people and groups on field s of science and technology (and, likely, engineering and mathematics). While a plethora of problems are linked to fossil fuel uses, with particular concerns relating to climate change , excessive promotion of production and consumption is threatening a range of habitats and species, and harmful substances in many manufactured goods—such as fats, sugars, salts, food colourings and preservatives in food products, combustion products in cigarettes and a range of untested chemicals in everyday household cleansers and hygiene products—are associated with various preventable diseases, like cardiovascular illnesses, diabetes and cancer. Given that many of these problems seem tied to global economic systems, which—in their neoliberal form—depend on cooperation of governments and transnational governing bodies and agreements, it seems clear that more citizens must take active roles in analyzing and evaluating products and services of fields of science and technology (and other related fields) and, where problems are identified, be prepared to take informed actions to bring about what they perceive to be a better world. Given roles of fields of science and technology (and others) in contributing to harms like those identified above, a logical place for helping to develop more activist citizens is through school science and technology (and related subject s). To do so, however, it seems essential to base such education on authentic situations of citizen engagement in various socio-political controversies. In this chapter, we describe an ongoing case of citizen data-informed actions to address what they perceived to be toxic metal dust pollution (including nickel, arsenic, lead, cadmium, cobalt, manganese and zinc) accumulating on objects in their community that they claim is emanating from the city’s inland ocean port. Our analyses suggest that rectifying responses from the city and, perhaps, resistance to such responses can be explained using Michel Foucault ’s concept of dispositif (an aggregate of actants serving certain purposes ). A key to this conclusion was activists’ discovery of decades-old reports commissioned by the city that, if they had been made part of public discourse , may have increased levels of public consciousness to the point that earlier corrective actions might have been taken. With this case and analyses of it, we suggest that it could serve as an excellent model to be included in apprenticeship s for helping students to develop expertise, confidence and motivation for self-directing research-informed and negotiated actions to address socioscientific problems of their choice—including in terms of working to develop dispositifs to support their causes.
The concepts of participation and deliberation have been invested with strong symbolic weight in the field of science education and, more specifically, in the teaching of socio-scientific issues (SSIs). However, the teaching of socio-scientific issues has not yet emerged as the “natural” or “self-obvious” place for focusing attention on the socio-political management of socio-scientific issues. In the first section of this chapter, I outline a number of conceptual contributions originating in political philosophy, a field that has engaged in sustained reflection concerning the participation of ordinary citizens in the deliberations surrounding socio-political decision making. In the second section, I present the viewpoints of post-secondary/pre-university students (who are also training to become primary or secondary school teachers) concerning the management of socio-scientific issues. I also provide illustrations of how these students describe the roles played by various actors – citizens, industry, government, and members of the scientific community. In the third section, I identify the opportunities offered by these descriptions for redistributing legitimacy and re-examining the modalities of citizen participation in the management of socio-scientific issues.
This collection of essays by Sheila Jasanoff explores how democratic governments construct public reason, that is, the forms of evidence and argument used in making state decisions accountable to citizens. The term public reason as used here is not simply a matter of deploying principled arguments that respect the norms of democratic deliberation. Jasanoff investigates what states do in practice when they claim to be reasoning in the public interest. Reason, from this perspective, comprises the institutional practices, discourses, techniques and instruments through which governments claim legitimacy in an era of potentially unbounded risks-physical, political, and moral. Those legitimating efforts, in turn, depend on citizens' acceptance of the forms of reasoning that governments offer. Included here therefore is an inquiry into the conditions that lead citizens of democratic societies to accept policy justification as being reasonable. These modes of public knowing, or “civic epistemologies,” are integral to the constitution of contemporary political cultures.
Controversies over such issues as nuclear waste, genetically modified organisms, asbestos, tobacco, gene therapy, avian flu, and cell phone towers arise almost daily as rapid scientific and technological advances create uncertainty and bring about unforeseen concerns. The authors of Acting in an Uncertain World argue that political institutions must be expanded and improved to manage these controversies, to transform them into productive conversations, and to bring about "technical democracy." They show how "hybrid forums"—in which experts, non-experts, ordinary citizens, and politicians come together—reveal the limits of traditional delegative democracies, in which decisions are made by quasi-professional politicians and techno-scientific information is the domain of specialists in laboratories. The division between professionals and laypeople, the authors claim, is simply outmoded. The authors argue that laboratory research should be complemented by everyday experimentation pursued in the real world, and they describe various modes of cooperation between the two. They explore a range of concrete examples of hybrid forums that have dealt with sociotechnical controversies including nuclear waste disposal in France, industrial waste and birth defects in Japan, a childhood leukemia cluster in Woburn, Massachusetts, and Mad Cow Disease in the United Kingdom. They discuss the implications for political decision making in general, and they describe a "dialogic" democracy that enriches traditional representative democracy. To invent new procedures for consultation and representation, they suggest, is to contribute to an endless process that is necessary for the ongoing democratization of democracy.
Protection des sources
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Arseneau, I. (2016a, November 1). Protection des sources. Le Devoir. Retrieved from http://www.ledev te/media s/48363 8/prote ction -des-sourc es.
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Bergeron, U. (2016b, November 2). L'UQAM sort de son mutisme dans le dossier Marie-Ève Maillé. Radio-Canada. Retrieved from -canad lle/81235 4/eolie nne-uqam-maill e-aide-ordon nance -cour-confi denti alite -sourc es-unive rsita ires.