With the focus on the Olympics and Paralympics in Brazil, I have included two articles in this issue on science communication in Brazil. From a small Portuguese colony of a mainly illiterate population in the 16th century, there have been enormous changes in Brazil with respect to science and science communication. In “Science communication in Brazil: A historical review and considerations about the current situation”, Luisa Massarani and Ileu de Castro Moreira map out the political setbacks and successful growth of science in Brazil up to the present time.
In “Time, science and consensus”, José Aparecido de Oliveira and Isaac Epstein use the example of stem cell research in Brazil to identify the importance of different time scales, which operate amongst researcherspoliticians and the public and how these differences impact on outcomes.
The concept of media templates – key events in the past, through which current events are defined and explained – form the basis of Richard Holliman’s article: “Interpreting Science News: Medical templates and scientific citizenship.” Holliman’s research involved 32 focus groups and how they processed and interpreted scientific issues.
The concept of percentage comparisons of data frequently occurs in science reporting. In “The Language of Comparisons: Communicating about Percentages”, Jessica Polito identifies a number of fallacies associated with a poor understanding of percentages in the context of a course, which she gave to students on Quantitative Reasoning.
Nigel Sanitt Editor