The Development and Validation of the Social Enterprise of Science Index (SESI): an Instrument to Measure Grasp of the Social-Institutional Aspects of Science

22 Pages Posted: 31 Mar 2020 Last revised: 22 Feb 2021

See all articles by Joanna Huxster

Joanna Huxster

Environmental Studies Discipline, Eckerd College

Matthew Slater

Bucknell University

Asheley Landrum

College of Media & Communication, Texas Tech University

Date Written: March 6, 2020

Abstract

Significant gaps remain between public opinion and the scientific consensus on many issues. We present the results of three studies (N = 722 in total) for the development and testing of a novel instrument to measure a largely unmeasured aspect of scientific literacy: the enterprise of science, particularly in the context of its social structures. We posit that this understanding of the scientific enterprise is an important source for the public’s trust in science. Our results indicate that the Social Enterprise of Science Index (SESI) is a reliable and valid instrument that correlates positively with trust in science (r = .256, p < .001), and level of education (r = .245, p < .001). We also develop and validate a six question short version of the SESI for ease of use in longer surveys.

Keywords: scientific literacy, public understanding of science, instrument development, scientific enterprise, scientific community

Suggested Citation

Huxster, Joanna and Slater, Matthew and Landrum, Asheley, The Development and Validation of the Social Enterprise of Science Index (SESI): an Instrument to Measure Grasp of the Social-Institutional Aspects of Science (March 6, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3549988 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3549988

Joanna Huxster (Contact Author)

Environmental Studies Discipline, Eckerd College ( email )

United States

Matthew Slater

Bucknell University ( email )

701 Moore Ave.
Lewisburg, PA 17837
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.mhslater.com

Asheley Landrum

College of Media & Communication, Texas Tech University ( email )

3003 15th Street
Box 43082
Lubbock, TX 79409
United States

HOME PAGE: http://asheleylandrum.com

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