Aspects About Science in the Context of Production and Communication of Knowledge of COVID-19
Sci Educ (Dordr)
In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, and given the huge volume of information available for the general population (being part of them fake news), there is a clear need to foster people's understanding of the meaning of science, of how scientific knowledge is produced, communicated, and used. As one of the main aims of science education is the promotion of students' scientific literacy, one of the issues focused on teaching should be aspects of nature of science (NOS) - which can be introduced from discussions in socioscientific contexts. In this paper, we analyse the context of the COVID-19 pandemic in order to identify and discuss aspects of NOS involved in the production and communication of knowledge about it. We analyse selected scientific publications and reports from the general media, mainly focused on three broad topics about the production and validation of knowledge: (i) the characterisation of the virus, and (ii) the treatments and vaccines for COVID-19, and (iii) the communication of knowledge produced from the characterisation of scientific literature itself in the pandemic period. The analysis was carried out from a model that presents a broad and complex view of science, as it addresses several areas of knowledge and specific aspects of each of them and proposes the generation of one's view of science from an integration of some of its distinct areas and/or aspects. The results show the current pandemic is a rich socioscientific context whose discussion of social, political, economic, and ethical aspects may support students' learning of nature of science, thus fostering scientific literacy.