Research on science outreach activities is often located in the interface between science communication and science education. The transferability of aims and objectives of one research field to the other offers great potential. The widely recognized aim of ‘trust in science’ in science communication is still less discussed in science education. However, when teaching emotive scientific topics such as climate change, vaccines or genetic engineering, students’ trust in science is of great importance. This paper presents a study of two interventions (NPartI = 443; NPartII = 333), to (1) assess the level of trust in science among secondary school students, and (2) to investigate the impact of outreach activities on the development of trust in science. Results showed that the mean level of trust in science among secondary school students is similar to the level among university students. We found a trust-enhancing effect of the interventions exclusively for students with a low prior level of trust (low-trustors). Furthermore, results indicated that high levels of trust in science can support learning in science outreach activities. These findings are particularly important when considering that increasing students’ level of trust in science appears to be especially important for low-trustors in order to prevent negative social tendencies.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Science Education, Part B: Communication and Public Engagement
Volume12
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)111-125
Number of pages15
ISSN2154-8455
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 06.2022
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    Research areas

  • Science communication and enrichment - informal education, public awareness, science outreach

ID: 1911705