Understanding the Scientific Enterprise: Development and Validation of an Instrument to Measure Grasp of the Social Structure of Science
49 Pages Posted: 31 Mar 2020
Date Written: March 6, 2020
Significant gaps remain between public opinion and the scientific consensus on many issues. We present the results of three studies for the development and testing of a novel instrument to measure a largely unmeasured aspect of scientific literacy: the enterprise or social structure of science. 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 Structure of Science Index (SSSI) is a reliable and valid instrument. We also develop and validate a short version of the SSSI for ease of use in longer surveys.
Keywords: scientific literacy, public understanding of science, instrument development, scientific enterprise, scientific community
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