COVID-19: an opportunity for cultivating a positive public relationship with science in South Africa

SOURCE: HSRC Review
OUTPUT TYPE: Journal Article
PUBLICATION YEAR: 2020
TITLE AUTHOR(S): S.Hannan, S.Parker, V.Reddy
KEYWORDS: PUBLIC PARTICIPATION, SCIENCE
DEPARTMENT: Inclusive Economic Development (IED), Impact Centre (IC), Impact Centre (PRESS), Impact Centre (CC)
Web link: http://www.hsrc.ac.za/en/review/hsrc-review-july-2020/covid-opportunity-cultivate-positive-public-relationship-with-science
Print: HSRC Library: shelf number 11522
HANDLE: 20.500.11910/15411

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Abstract

The world faces accelerated change and uncertainty as countries try to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. South Africa also has to contend with high levels of inequality, poverty and unemployment. Decision makers rely on science and technology-based evidence to develop policy and solutions to these challenges. Similarly, the public increasingly relies on valid scientific information to support their daily lives. Cultivating a positive relationship with science is crucial for, and contingent on, a trusting, scientifically literate and critically engaged public. Sylvia Hannan, Saahier Parker and Vijay Reddy present some key findings from local and international COVID-19 surveys that highlight the importance of understanding and addressing the public's relationship with science.