Epilogue Entertaining Lessons

in Science on the Air

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print October 2008 | ISBN: 9780226467597
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226466958 | DOI:
Epilogue Entertaining Lessons

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In the twenty-first century, podcasting and similar new delivery technologies seem to promise increased opportunities for serious topics like science; educational and informative programs need no longer be shuttled to the off-hours, nor be inhibited by censorship, nor be tied to commercial advertising, nor tiptoe around religious or political controversy, nor guarantee laughter or pathos. Producers can offer creative programming via the Internet at low or no cost; users can download talks, conversations, interviews, and dramatizations with liberty and then consume them at leisure. And yet, the outcome is no more assured that it was for radio, and the questions originally posed by E. W. Scripps and William E. Ritter remain relevant. What informational tools will people need to meet the challenges of the century ahead? How can popular science serve those needs? And, most important, who will produce, shape, and pay for popular science? The history of how science was popularized via radio and early television hints at likely outcomes, and also suggests some lessons.

Keywords: science popularization; popular science; radio; television

Chapter.  3150 words. 

Subjects: Media Studies

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