Public Perceptions of Science

September 18, 2018

SFU Philosophy professor, Holly Andersen sounded an optimistic note on the Ontario Science Centre's recent survey on public perception of science. Asked by Global News to comment, Andersen noted that she was encouraged by the survey results despite concerns expressed about fake news.

"Flip the statistics, she says. If 54 per cent of Canadians believe their peers are turning away from science that’s 54 per cent of Canadians who “want us to be moving closer to science” and are pointing out the trends as they happen."

She goes on to suggest that opening up a conversation could help increase trust by resolving tension between the public's perception of science and what they would like it to do. 

Read the full story here: Canadians see science as a solution, but worry fake news is more appealing: survey


Interested in philosophy and science? SFU Philosophy offers various undergraduate courses that you might find interesting.

PHIL 144: Intro to Philosophy of ScienceAn introduction to philosophical issues concerning the nature of science. Topics to be discussed include the distinction between science and pseudo-science, the nature of scientific method, the nature of explanation in the natural and social sciences, the phenomenon of scientific change, the relationship between scientific theory and observation, and the objectivity of social science. Breadth-Humanities/Sciences. 

Certificate in Philosophy and Methodology of ScienceThis Certificate is primarily for students who are already majoring or minoring in a science field such as the natural sciences, mathematics, computer science, psychology or cognitive science. Courses provide philosophical insight into questions concerning the methodology and practice of science. 
Specialized courses help students acquire core critical and philosophical reasoning skills to enhance the study of science in general. Students learn to:

  • read difficult texts to discern key points and argumentative structure 
  • produce concise, focused writing that develops lucid and original arguments with clarity
  • listen and respond to points presented during constructive discussion