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Noel Gough Laboratories in Fiction (1993)

Noel Gough Laboratories in Fiction (1993)

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Published by Noel Gough
This monograph presents two key propositions, namely: (i) that ‘laboratories’ – in their various roles as sites, symbols, emblems and metaphors of scientific labor – are represented in numerous and diverse ways in popular media and that these images of science should be a significant part of the substance (‘content’) of science education; and (ii) that popular media are themselves ‘laboratories of ideas’ in which meanings are subjected to experimentation.

The monograph is organised into three sections. First, I outline some of the fictions of science education as it is presently conceived and delivered through conventional schooling. In this section I develop the argument that the media and resources on which conventional science education presently depends (textbooks and laboratories) seriously misrepresent science in education and that we therefore need to look to other media and resources to assist us in constructing a defensible science curriculum. Secondly, I discuss the possible contributions of science fiction (in print and electronic media) to science education. I argue that the blurring of boundaries between ‘scientific fact’ and science fiction provide numerous opportunities for developing critical understandings of problems and issues in science, technology and society (the readings included in this monograph also deal centrally with the connections that can be constructed between science, science fiction, and science education). Finally, I consider the contributions to science education of some popular media other than those which attract the label ‘science fiction’, with particular reference to pop music, mainstream popular novels and cinema, and children’s literature.
This monograph presents two key propositions, namely: (i) that ‘laboratories’ – in their various roles as sites, symbols, emblems and metaphors of scientific labor – are represented in numerous and diverse ways in popular media and that these images of science should be a significant part of the substance (‘content’) of science education; and (ii) that popular media are themselves ‘laboratories of ideas’ in which meanings are subjected to experimentation.

The monograph is organised into three sections. First, I outline some of the fictions of science education as it is presently conceived and delivered through conventional schooling. In this section I develop the argument that the media and resources on which conventional science education presently depends (textbooks and laboratories) seriously misrepresent science in education and that we therefore need to look to other media and resources to assist us in constructing a defensible science curriculum. Secondly, I discuss the possible contributions of science fiction (in print and electronic media) to science education. I argue that the blurring of boundaries between ‘scientific fact’ and science fiction provide numerous opportunities for developing critical understandings of problems and issues in science, technology and society (the readings included in this monograph also deal centrally with the connections that can be constructed between science, science fiction, and science education). Finally, I consider the contributions to science education of some popular media other than those which attract the label ‘science fiction’, with particular reference to pop music, mainstream popular novels and cinema, and children’s literature.

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Categories:Types, Research
Published by: Noel Gough on Oct 20, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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07/13/2014

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Acknowledgments
Heather Maunder's assistance in researching aspects
of
children's SF and other pertinent children'sliterature
is
gratefully acknowledged.p.3: quote from 'IGY International Geophysical Year' reproduced by permission
of
Essex Music
of
Australia
Pty
Ltd. Unauthorised copying
is
illegal; p.
4:
'First We Take Manhattan'
©
1988Leonard Cohen Stranger Music, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved; p.
9:
'No Surrender'reproduced by permission
of
Warner Chappell Music Australia. Unauthorised copying
is
illegal;p.
12:
'Big Science' written and recorded by Laurie Anderson (Difficult Music). Reprinted by permission ofRondor Music (Australia) Pty Ltd; p. 12: cover
of
Future
City
reproduced by permission
of
the publisher; p.
15:
the extract from
The Total Love Machine and Other Stories
by Rosaleen Love,first published by
The
Women's Press Ltd, 1988, 34 Great Sutton Street, London
ECIV
ODX,
is
used by permission
of
The
Women's Press Ltd;
p.17:
'Egg Harvest' and 'Flushing' reproduced
by
permission
of
Thalia; pp.
21
and
51:
Animal Man
©
1987
DC
Comics Inc. All Rights Reserved;
p.
32:
The Chronicles
of
Judge Dredd
copyright Fleetway Editions 1992; p. 34: quote from Ursula
K.
Le Guin,
Always Coming Home,
Victor Gollanz, 1986, reproduced by permission
of
Victor Gollanz;Scrub Oak illustration by Margaret Chodos from
Always
Coming Home
by Ursula
K.
Le Guin,Harper
&
Row, 1985. Illustration copyright
©
1985 by Margaret Chodos. Reprinted by permission
of
Margaret Chodos;
pp.38-40:
Watchmen
©
1987
DC
Comics Inc. All Rights Reserved;
p.
43: (top left)
Amazing Stories
©
&
TM
TSR,
INC. All Rights Reserved; (bottom left)
'The
Planet
of
the Apes'
©
1968 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All Rights Reserved; p. 44: 'Aroundthe Flame' words Mark Seymour / music Hunters and Collectors (Mushroom Music/Human Frailty).Reproduced by permission
of
Mushroom Music; p. 61: 'No Surrender' reproduced by permission
of
Warner Chappell Music Australia. Unauthorised copying is illegal; pp. 63-4: 'Transverse City'and 'Run Straight Down'
©
Zevon
Music-reprinted
by permission
of
Rondor Music (Australia)Pty Ltd; p.65: quote from
Skinny
Legs and
All
by
Tom
Robbins, Bantam New York, 1990.Reproduced by permission
of
Bantam Books; p. 69: Graeme O'Neill, 'Mating spiders create genetictension in Canberra',
Age,
10
July 1991. Reproduced by permission
of
Graeme O'Neill and the
Age;
pp. 70-1: quote from
The Sea and Summer
by George Turner, Faber
&
Faber Ltd, reproducedby permission
of
the publisher; reading
1:
reproduced by permission
of
Science-Fiction Studies;reading
2:
reprinted from
Reflections from the Heart
of
Educational Inquiry,
edited by
G.
Willis and
W.
H. Schubert, by permission
of
the State University
of
New York Press.
©
1991 State University
of
New York; reading
3:
Primate Visions
by Donna Haraway, Routledge, Chapman and HallInc.
©
1989 by Routledge, Chapman
&
Hall, Inc. Reproduced by permission
of
the publisher andthe author.
 
Laboratories in fiction
Science education and popular media
Noel Gough
Deakin University
Deakin University

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