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Lay perceptions of nuclear fusion: multiple modes of understanding

Prades-Lopez, Ana, Horlick-Jones, Thomas Edward, Oltra, Christian and Solá, Rosario 2008. Lay perceptions of nuclear fusion: multiple modes of understanding. Science and Public Policy 35 (2) , pp. 95-105. 10.3152/030234208X282853

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This paper reports on a review of the empirical evidence about lay perceptions of nuclear fusion. It does so in the light of the wider social science literature on public perception of new technologies and their risks, especially technologies which, like fusion, have large research and development programmes. Our findings point to multiple distinct modes by which lay publics, in specific circumstances, come to understand fusion. Whilst broadly in line with the well-established critique of the deficit thinking, our findings point to the need for further investigations into the capacity of technical and material aspects of fusion and other technologies to engender specific patterns of understanding. We discuss the implications of our findings for future research, and for the efficacy of future attempts by the fusion community to communicate and engage with lay publics.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Publisher: Beech Tree Publishing
ISSN: 0302-3427
Last Modified: 06 Jun 2019 20:43

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