‘Science, Imagination & the Big Questions’ Templeton Panel: Why we should avoid warfare rhetoric in SciComm

As part of a Templeton Foundation funded panel on Science, Imagination and the Big Questions Panel at the York Festival of Ideas, I had the chance to explore together with Tom McLeish and Amanda Rees the really very long history of warfare narratives in the history, and historiography of science – tracing it to its presence in Science Communication during the Covid-19 pandemic – a recording of the talk is now available on YouTube.

This panel discussion reflected on our research of the past 15 months into Covid-19 narratives in the cultural context of the United Kingdom, where the preference for them has a complex political history, and, for that reason, strong religious overtones, but also put it into historical perspective.

We were delighted to receive positive feedback from the audience at the event, who engaged in a fascinating discussion following our talk, and wrote blogs about our panel. This panel continues our outreach, engagement and impact work in a variety of settings, as we recently presented this research at a seminar the Nuffield Department for Primary Care, and our work has has now been used by several Universities in the UK and US for teaching students in science communication, and journalism – as well as in Science Communication seminars for Church of England leaders.

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