Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: August 17, 2010 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412959216 | Print ISBN: 9781412959209 | Online ISBN: 9781412959216 | Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Public Understanding of Research
Kristian Hvidtfelt Nielsen
Although the terms science and research are often used interchangeably, they sometimes have somewhat different meanings. Science is often understood to mean an established body of knowledge, as well as the pursuit of knowledge by means of unbiased observation and systematic experimentation. Similarly, research refers to the activity of doing research and to the outcome of research. However, whereas the word science often suggests objectivity, certainty, and constancy, the word research rather denotes the exploration of unknown, uncertain, and perhaps even controversial territory. There exist a number of well-recognized approaches to the philosophy of science but only a very few, scattered attempts to do a philosophy of research. Public understanding of research (PUR) has almost the same connotations as public understanding of science (PUS). Still, some important differences may be discerned. In terms of communicative practices and scholarly research, PUR is relatively underdeveloped in comparison with PUS. PUS has many ...