sociology of scientific ignorance


  • “[4] This concept also makes a distinction between two types of ignorance: active non-knowledge is ignorance that is intentionally or unintentionally taken into account within
    science; latent non-knowledge is ignorance that is not taken into account.

  • Studies have also been done that focus heavily on the role journalists – and media in general – play when it comes to public ignorance of science and common scientific misconceptions.

  • A common way to put weight to the journalists’ claims is to point to a scientific controversy, or to ignorance within scientific research.

  • There are two distinct areas in which SSI is being studied: some focus on ignorance in scientific research, whereas others focus on public ignorance of science.

  • The most common way is to see ignorance as something relevant, rather than simply lack of knowledge.

  • Public ignorance of science This division of SSI is generally looking at the causes of public ignorance of science, as well as the impact it can have on scientific research
    and society.

  • Ignorance in scientific research Generally, the word ignorance has a negative tone to it, and for a long time scientific ignorance was viewed as a purely negative thing.

  • Although the latter is unavoidable, by the common view in SSI, this has made scientists more hesitant to discuss their ignorance, since this could be used by media to diminish
    their work.

  • Ignorance mobilization can be said to aim to change latent non-knowledge into active non-knowledge, thereby making it useful for further research.


Works Cited

[‘Stocking, Holly (September 1998). “On Drawing Attention to Ignorance”. Science Communication. 20 (1): 165–178. doi:10.1177/1075547098020001019. S2CID 145791904.
2. ^ Pinto, M. F. (19 January 2015). “Tensions in agnotology: Normativity in the studies
of commercially driven ignorance”. Social Studies of Science. 45 (2): 294–315. doi:10.1177/0306312714565491. PMID 26477209. S2CID 41431716.
3. ^ Gross, Matthias (2010). Ignorance and surprise : science, society, and ecological design. Cambridge,
Massachusetts: MIT Press. p. 1. ISBN 9780262013482.
4. ^ Gaudet, Joanne; Young, Nathan; Gross, Matthias (28 May 2012). “Ignorance is Power: Science in Practice, Epistemic Mobilization Dynamics” (PDF). Ignorance mobilization. Kitchener-Waterloo,
Ontario. Retrieved 21 April 2015.
5. ^ Merton, Robert K. (August 1987). “Three Fragments From a Sociologist’s Notebooks: Establishing the Phenomenon, Specified Ignorance, and Strategic Research Materials”. Annual Review of Sociology. 13 (1): 1.
6. ^ Michael, Mike (1996). Ignoring science: discourses of ignorance in the public understanding of science (1. publ. ed.). Cambridge [u.a.]: Cambridge Univ. Press. pp. 107–125. ISBN 0-521-43268-5. Retrieved
26 May 2015.
7. ^ Stocking, S. H.; Holstein, L. W. (6 August 2008). “Manufacturing doubt: journalists’ roles and the construction of ignorance in a scientific controversy” (PDF). Public Understanding of Science. 18 (1): 23–42. doi:10.1177/0963662507079373.
PMID 19579533. S2CID 29578804. Retrieved 26 May 2015.
2. Gross, Matthias; McGoey, Linsey (2015). Routledge International Handbook of Ignorance Studies. New York: Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-71896-7.
3. Gigerenzer, Gerd and Garcia-Retamero, Rocio.
Cassandra’s Regret: The Psychology of Not Wanting to Know (March 2017), Psychological Review, 2017, Vol. 124, No. 2, 179–196. Paper proposes a regret theory of deliberate ignorance. A summary discussion of the paper on the website of the American
Psychological Association (APA).
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