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Social Representations of Brain Research: Exploring Public (Dis)engagement With Contemporary Neuroscience
O'Connor, Cliodhna; Joffe, Helene
Recent years have seen a major expansion of the position of neuroscience in the mass media, public policy, and legal dialogue. Drawing on interviews with 48 London residents, this article examines how people with no prior involvement with neuroscience make sense of the concept of “brain research.” Thematic analysis of the data furnished little evidence that neuroscience has meaningfully infiltrated lay thinking. Respondents consigned brain knowledge to the “other world” of science, which was seen as a decidedly separate social milieu. They envisioned that the only route by which they might become alert to brain information would be if they developed a neurological illness. This article considers the social and psychological dynamics that shape neuroscience’s dissipation into public consciousness.
Keyword(s): neuroscience; brain; social representations; dys-appearance; interviews; thematic analysis
Publication Date:
Type: Journal article
Peer-Reviewed: Yes
Institution: Maynooth University
Citation(s): O'Connor, Cliodhna and Joffe, Helene (2014) Social Representations of Brain Research: Exploring Public (Dis)engagement With Contemporary Neuroscience. Science Communication, 36 (5). pp. 617-645. ISSN 1552-8545
Publisher(s): SAGE Publications
File Format(s): other
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First Indexed: 2020-04-02 06:41:34 Last Updated: 2020-04-02 06:41:34