Recent rhetorical studies in public understanding of science: Multiple purposes and strengths

Celeste M. Condit, John Lynch, Emily Winderman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


We review rhetorical studies of the public understanding of science that were published in journals since the last major review in this journal (1994-2011). Our review suggests that a vibrant and increasingly sophisticated body of research 1) has pursued Gross's (1994) emphasis on contextual studies and studies emphasizing judgment of scientific rhetorics, 2) is producing a growing body of work designed to develop specific strategies for scientific rhetorics, and 3) has produced a host of studies exploring science-public interactions (rather than producing sustained fora for such interactions, as Gross argued for). It has, however, 4) produced only modest independent development of rhetorical theories.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)386-400
Number of pages15
JournalPublic Understanding of Science
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • discourses of science
  • governance of science and technology
  • interaction experts/publics
  • lay expertise
  • public understanding of science
  • representations of science
  • science and popular culture
  • science communication
  • scientific controversies
  • studies of science and technology


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