Session 4D - On the public history of science and technology

Room 3.24

Panel Discussion

Tim Boon (The Science Museum Group, UK); Sabine Clarke (University of York, UK); Patricia Fara (University of Cambridge, UK); Stephanie Snow (University of Manchester, UK); George Young(Science and Industry Museum, UK)

With science and technology such dominant aspects of modern culture, the ways that their past is discussed in public matters. For all that HPS and STS have generated well-founded diverse accounts, much public discourse is straitjacketed by enduring myths that mis-portray science as solitary and heroic, always on the cusp of major breakthrough. Such portrayals not only constrain the circulation of more realistic and interesting stories of science, they can even undermine attempts to make science an attractive career. Panel members explore ways to more nuanced accounts in media and publishing (Fara); school education (Clarke); museums (Young); and in a participatory history of the NHS (Snow).