Celebrity scientists: Inspiration or just entertainment?

Journal article

Dent, M. and Radford, Neil 2020. Celebrity scientists: Inspiration or just entertainment? Science Teacher Education.
AuthorsDent, M. and Radford, Neil

This article explores perceptions of science students about the influence of celebrity science on their aspirations. Does celebrity science inspire? Their views are contrasted with those of five prominent celebrity scientists (including Sir David Attenborough and Baroness Susan Greenfield). Qualitative interviews revealed that whilst a key factor in science aspiration is personal interest, celebrity scientists were perceived as having the potential and responsibility to inspire young people. Authenticity and credibility, alongside entertainment, were seen as potentially optimising this influence. Implications for teacher educators are considered from the perspective of working with science teachers, scientists and celebrity scientists, with the concept of ‘message to a name’ being introduced as a supportive tool.

KeywordsScience education, celebrity scientists
JournalScience Teacher Education
PublisherThe Association for Science Education
Web address (URL)http://hdl.handle.net/10545/625293
Publication dates30 Sep 2020
Publication process dates
Deposited23 Oct 2020, 15:24
Accepted20 Aug 2020
ContributorsUniversity of Derby
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