Saturday, March 5, 2011

What is Science Popularization?

Science popularization is presenting of scientific facts in a way that is accessible to curios non-practitioner of science. For example the mega best seller by Stephen Hawking (1, 2, 3) called A Brief History of Time was an attempt to present aspects of fundamental physics and cosmology to general public.

Another example is the best seller by Richard Dawkins called the Selfish Gene. This was more than science popularization. In the background it was popularization of Darwin's theory of evolution but the additional object was to raise that theory to the level of DNA.

In short the purpose of science popularization is to convince the common people that they can understand science even if they are not doing it.

There is also a pitfall of science popularization. Far too often people start getting the ideas to contribute to real science by merely reading literature that is supposed to be popularization of science. A case in point is the large number of cases where one encounters a person claiming to have proved Einstein wrong.