7th European Spring School on History of Science and Popularization Science on Television



Mahon (Minorca), 16-18 May 2013






Institute for Minorcan Studies (IME)


Catalan Society for the History of Science and Technology (SCHCT)


Centre for the History of Science (CEHIC) – Autonomous University of Barcelona








Which roles do Television and Science play in our daily lives?


Do they shape our perceptions, values, concerns and expectations?


It is time to take a closer look at them…


… from a historical point of view!




Mass media and science are two sets of discourses and practices that play a key role in the construction of contemporary societies. They are best understood as forms of everyday interaction between people, collectives and institutions. They are also crucial sources of representation and interpretation of values, concerns and expectations of human communities. And they are key spaces where the symbolic framework as well as the spatial and temporal organization of life is articulated.



The 7th European Spring School of History of Science and Popularization:

Science on



is an invitation to explore and experience television as a major constituent of the social and cultural processes of production, circulation and management of scientific, medical and technological knowledge. Directly related to current debates on science popularization in the fields of science studies and history of science, as well as in media and communication studies, this Spring School aims to contribute to the analysis of television as a particular space where the complex relationship between science and its publics, between experts and non-experts, unfolds.




The portrayal of science, medicine and technology on television has become particularly complex as information, advertising, entertainment, education and even criticism or social commentary increasingly mingle in program design and planning.

At the same time, people’s everyday patterns of appropriation of television significantly affect ways of communicating, consuming, working, studying, collaborating and solving problems. As a result, communication practices related to television and science content, from the processes of production to domestic and daily consumption habits, can be understood as non-formal learning activities and spaces. And therefore, the public perception of scientific, medical and technological knowledge is arguably very much influenced by television, whether through news programs, documentaries and/or fiction pieces.




This Spring School will be structured in three working sessions that attempt to cover a host of analytical perspectives through the contribution of scholars as well as television professionals. In short, theory meets practice.




The following topics will be addressed:




1.        From news to fiction: television formats representing science,

medicine and





–          Josep M. Comelles (Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Tarragona, Spain)


–          David Dugan (Windfallfilms, London, UK)




2.        Science documentaries: history and evolution of a genre.




–          Tim Boon (Science Museum, London, UK)






3.        Science as accessible home entertainment: television commercial

approaches and

their impact on contemporary societies.










The Spring School is open for scholars, researchers, professionals and students. Its main goal is to encourage debate and interaction among the attending public and the invited specialists. Each session will have two parts: ‘workshop / lecture’ and ‘film forum’, where points of view of scholars and television professionals will be contrasted and discussed. In addition, participants’ contribution will be encouraged through direct responses to the lecturers’ papers and/or the submission of a short video.










All sessions will be conducted in English.










[email protected]




Organizing committee:


Carlos Tabernero, Centre for the History of Science (CEHIC):

[email protected]




Clara Florensa, Centre for the History of Science (CEHIC):

[email protected]