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The use or otherwise of nuclear energy is not a decision that is up to the experts only. Science in general, and environmental science in particular, is not unconnected to society, but is contextualised within it. Mara Laura Lzaro, lecturer at the University of Uruguay, presented her PhD thesis at the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), a thesis that reflects on the relationship between science and society, concretely on that referring to public participation and the stimulating of a scientific culture. She also provides some practical examples of public involvement carried out in this field, highlighting the one on nuclear energy undertaken in Uruguay. Her thesis is entitled, Cultura cientfica y participacin ciudadana en poltica socio-ambiental.
This work is based on a Science, Technology and Society (STS) approach, seeking an understanding of science from the point of view of society. With this proposal in mind, social studies of science have been encouraged over the past thirty years. Ms Lzaro undertook a historical-bibliographical analysis of the development of these studies. The changes that have taken place as regards terminology are significant of these trends. As explained in the PhD thesis, in the 80s terms such as scientific literacy and later popularisation of science became fashionable and today the expression social appropriation of science has begun to gain ground. According to Ms Lzaro, this latter term illustrates that a more bidirectional relationship between science and society has arisen.
The researcher has focused more concretely on environmental science, this being a branch of science in which society is more explicitly involved. This research has produced a primary overview of an analysis of the social studies of science. The researcher
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