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Enlightenment was the choice: Doctor Who and the Democratisation of Science

Orthia, Lindy

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The democratisation of science - shifting science governance, work opportunities and ideologies away from the exclusive domains of elite minorities and into the hands of the people - is an important aim of science communication. If communication products such as television series can influence people's relationships with science in terms of their career choices, belief systems and feelings of ownership over science, then it is important for science communicators to understand what television...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorOrthia, Lindy
dc.date.accessioned2010-08-23T04:41:39Z
dc.date.accessioned2011-01-04T02:34:10Z
dc.date.available2010-08-23T04:41:39Z
dc.date.available2011-01-04T02:34:10Z
dc.identifier.otherb25697973
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/49358
dc.description.abstractThe democratisation of science - shifting science governance, work opportunities and ideologies away from the exclusive domains of elite minorities and into the hands of the people - is an important aim of science communication. If communication products such as television series can influence people's relationships with science in terms of their career choices, belief systems and feelings of ownership over science, then it is important for science communicators to understand what television series are saying about science. In this thesis I examine representations of science in the long-running science fiction television series, 'Doctor Who'. In particular I analyse the social, cultural, political and economic aspects of this representation to assess its consistency with four goals for the democratisation of science: goals that I name franchise (lay empowerment in science governance), equality (equal access to opportunities in science workplaces and careers), progress (democratic choice about the role of technology in our lives and our societies) and enlightenment (democratic freedom to choose our beliefs and worldviews about the universe). Analysing the more than 200 'Doctor Who' serials broadcast between 1963 and 2008, I first give an overview of broad trends in the way the program has dealt with science themes and characters across four decades (1960s, 1970s, 1980s and 2000s), finding significant changes over that period. I then analyse in greater theoretical depth three ways that debates about the democratisation of science manifest within 'Doctor Who'. I show that the program varies in the degree to which it is consistent with the goals for the democratisation of science. ...
dc.language.isoen
dc.rights.uriThe Australian National University
dc.subjectDoctor Who, science communication, democratisation of science
dc.titleEnlightenment was the choice: Doctor Who and the Democratisation of Science
dc.typeThesis (PhD)
dcterms.valid2010
local.description.refereedyes
local.type.degreeDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)
dc.date.issued2010
local.contributor.affiliationThe Australian National University
local.contributor.affiliationCentre for the Public Awareness of Science, ANU College of Medicine, Biology and Environment
local.identifier.doi10.25911/5d7a2d25d3a89
local.mintdoimint
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