Since our readings left us off on the note of appropriation, I thought that I would share a new concept that I have been digging into: “science appropriation”. When I came across that term, naturally it piqued my interest due to my science-meets-art studio work. I have only begun to scratch the surface, but what I have read so far leads me to two very different ideas of what the phrase “science appropriation” means. On one side of it you have very negative connotations that refer to people using scientific language to support entirely non-scientific ideas and beliefs. This kind of appropriation of science is more in line with the term “pseudoscience”. It insinuates that the appropriator has little to no scientific knowledge or contextual awareness of the words or data they use. While this is something important to consider, I did not find it relevant to my own endeavors. While I use scientific techniques and information, it is not without context, research, or at least general understanding. Then we have the other side of the discussion. In the more scholarly texts I have found on the subject, I have found a much less negative view of science appropriation. Instead, these texts identify it as a social/cultural tool utilized by the public to inform decisions. These decisions could be something as simple as which product to buy at the store or as critical as how they will vote on an issue. The “appropriation” part of this is how these individuals use and digest information that they do not have specific expertise in. I enjoyed that in the articles that I have read so far (I will link to one that I got some good thoughts from) that the outlook is generally positive about this appropriation. The text that I most recently read says that scientific culture ought not be passive and exclusive and that it (and culture in general) “requires assimilation of diverse types of information in the enrichment of one’s own life, not only generating opinions but also attitudes and disposition to the action in different spheres in daily life” (Cerezo 71). I quite enjoy this concept of science appropriation. I think it’s an interesting spin on the word “appropriation” and the overall attitude toward non-experts and experts engaging in information sharing. I think it’s much more parallel to my thoughts on interdisciplinary work and the significance of breaking down those barriers.
Jose A. Lopez Cerezo & Montana Camara. “Scientific Culture and Social Appropriation of the Science.” Social Epistemology 21, 1 (2007): 69-81. doi: 10.1080/02691720601125522