“It’s not like it’s popular science we are doing”

Faximily from SEFI 2022 proceedings.

Looking at some research data with a colleague, I was inspired into doing a small side-project on popular science and it's possible role in science education. I will post the abstract, and links to the paper below.


This paper discusses the role popular science and science dissemination texts can have in learning physics in higher education for physics students and technical physics engineering students. In a mixed-methods study, students' attitudes, experienced motivation, and learning is mapped through a quantitative survey (N=155) and two qualitative surveys with in-depth interviews, one with six master level students and one with four 1st year students. The interview data shed light on two aspects of popular science's role in learning physics. Students report that reading popular science is highly motivating, but they do not have the perception of having learned physics from it. This converges with a division between calculations and conceptual understanding among the students. The paper then questions whether this gap could be closed or made smaller with greater emphasis on conceptual understanding in physics classes.

Link to paper: https://upcommons.upc.edu/handle/2117/383022

Link to SEFI proceedings (paper is on page 420): https://www.sefi.be/wp-content/uploads/2022/12/ebook-sefi-2022-1.pdf

Link to paper on Researchgate: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/366848374_It's_not_like_it's_popular_science_we_are_doing

Link to paper on (the extremely predatory, but hey) Academia: https://www.academia.edu/94299202/_It_s_not_like_it_s_popular_science_we...


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