COST Action CA17132 - APPLY
European Network for Argumentation and Public Policy Analysis

(2020) ” Argumentation of Socio-Scientific Issues on Social Media” by Dalyot, K. & Baram-Tsabari, A

Over the last decade, the internet has become a major force influencing many aspects of our life. Specifically, social media play an increasing part in learning and lifelong learning as they provide “easy, fast and efficient ways to access a great diversity of information and situated knowledge” (Redecker et al., 2010, p. 8). In Israel, Facebook (FB) is the leading social media with 5,800,000 subscribers (as of December, 2017) which represents almost 70% of the population. Since we know that children, teenagers and adults use the internet as a major source for science news (Ministry of Science and Technology, 2018, National Science Board ,2016, EUROBAROMETER) looking at the type of information sought out and the patterns of argumentation discourse about scientific issues in social networks is interesting and offers an important perspective. In addition, complexities of the social media landscape as an intersection of engagement with media content, with peers and with experts is important to understand.This study explores argumentation and discussion patterns of engaged participants on Facebook dedicated to the socio-scientific issue (SSI) of Non Ionizing Radiation (NIR). These discussions were prompted by TV programs and news stories on Israeli media broadcasted between 2016-2018. The stand point of these programs is that there is risk from NIR that the public needs to be aware of. Our research aims at exploring how lay people use scientific knowledge and argumentation skills as they debate and engage with a relevant socio-scientific issue that has implications for public policy. These implications include for example deployment of Wi-Fi routers in schools and other public locations as well as regulations for use of smart phones in schools and other educational institutions



COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology) is a funding agency for research and innovation networks. Our Actions help connect research initiatives across Europe and enable scientists to grow their ideas by sharing them with their peers. This boosts their research, career and innovation.

COST Action CA17132

Providing and criticising reasons is indispensable to achieve sound public policy that commands the support of both citizens and stakeholders. This need is now widely acknowledged in the recent literature and key EU documents, which highlight the perils of populist discourse and policies.

Action Contacts

Andreia Domingues - Grant Manager [CA 17132]
NOVA - FCSH | Avenida de Berna, 26 C
1069-061 Lisboa - Portugal

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