The STePS-MACAS group (Science, Technology and the Public Sphere) was formed in the 1990s and comprises researchers, projects, visitors and PhD students at the Department of Social Psychology who investigate the structure, dynamics and functions of public imagination in relation to scientific and technological innovations. Public opinion in many formats and forums has become a significant context of new technological developments; it increasingly makes or breaks the fortunes of innovations. Public opinion is the focus of our attention, both as a powerful source and an elusive target of social influence.
Over the years, the group has conducted major international research projects including mass media analysis, multi-national opinion and attitude surveys, and comparative qualitative scoping of the streams of imaginations of science-as-such, or specific issues of nuclear power, genetic engineering, computing and IT, nanotechnology etc. The concerns of STePS amount to an analysis of ‘modern common sense’ deposited in different vernaculars and as such subject to comparative empirical issues.
STePS-MACAS is at the centre of an international network of scholars who investigate the cultural authority of science (MACAS) with links across Europe and into South Africa, China, Taiwan, Korea, India, the USA and Latin America.
STePS host the monthly London Public Understanding of Science Seminar series at the LSE since the mid-1990s; edits the international peer-reviewed Journal: Public Understanding of Science, and has links with LSE's own Department of Methodology, and Centre for Risk Analysis.
Contacts: Professor Martin W Bauer [coordinator]
Download The Sense of Crisis among Science Journalist report 10th November 2009
Download The Environmental Competence of Science and The Public Understanding of Science
Download 'The Culture of Science in Modern Spain, 1989-2005', commissioned by the Fundacion BBVA. Read report