Science for children”

CALL FOR PAPERS for a session at the ESHS Conference, Lisbon, 4-6 September 2014.

Science for children has often been enmeshed with moral, religious and social agendas in more or less obvious ways. In this sense, understanding the way science has been communicated to the youngest can offer insights into how science has been used for shaping tomorrow’s citizens. Did these campaigns really contribute to strengthening the technological foundations of modern societies? What do we actually know about the means, the actors, the strategies, the contexts, and the outcomes surrounding science communication targeted at a pre-teenage audience in various places and at various times? While research on popular science has made significant progress in the last decades, science for children is a topic that is, with few exceptions, largely understudied. This session intends to bundle the existing approaches and bringing people with various backgrounds together to discuss “science for children” from a historical perspective.

Participants are invited to address issues such as:

  • Sources: Books, juvenile encyclopedias, comics, serials, sticker collections, newspapers, science toys and games, television programs and films for children. Science topics covered. Ways of representing science. Popular science books for children versus popular science books for adults.
  • Reception: Children as an audience: children´s reception of popular science books in public libraries. Children´s reception of television science shows. Preferred topics.
  • Actors: Children as authors. Ways of representing science. Editors and educators. Parents and politicians.
  • Institutions: Science education for children (curricula, text books). Science clubs, science fairs and science museums for children.
  • Strategies: Popular science books versus school science textbooks for children. Opening minds to new ideas versus framing minds for learning? Iconography, literary styles, rhetorical devices and types of discourse used in science texts for children.
  • Ideologies: Influence of political, religious, moral and social codes on the way science is communicated to children.
  • International circulation and local appropriation.

This call is open for other tantalizing questions. Please, feel free to make your contribution.

Deadline for submission of paper proposals: 1 January 2014

Please send me an abstract in English (maximum 400-words, including title, name(s) & affiliation(s) of the author(s)) ([email protected]).