Building bridges between science and society: new approaches to increase public understanding of Nuclear Technology / Construção de pontes entre ciência e sociedade: novas abordagens para aumentar a compreensão pública da Tecnologia Nuclear

Denise Levy, Helen Khoury


There is still great misinformation about the beneficial uses of radiation and the issue divides public opinion in Brazil and worldwide. Education and communication are crucial to increase public knowledge and understanding of the benefits of nuclear technology. Therefore, this paper presents two initiatives to reach teachers and students throughout Brazil, educating educators, combating misinformation and encouraging scientific and technological research. Taking advantage of the growing impact of Internet, the web-based educational project RadioAtividades (RadioActivities) aims the dissemination of nuclear technology contents for teachers and students of Elementary and Secondary Education. The content includes curiosities, interactive exercises and short courses that comprise the various aspects of the beneficial applications of nuclear technology. Furthermore, the website offers pedagogical support for teachers to enhance educators understanding of Nuclear Technology issues. The Nuclear Energy Museum of Federal University of Pernambuco is an educational initiative to teach nuclear energy applications in medicine, industry, agriculture and electric power generation. Moreover, the museum offers an interactive space that invites teachers and students to learn and search through exhibitions, interactive experiments, courses and participation in science fairs. Making use of modern educational concepts, the museum aims to improve public understanding of nuclear science, demystifying paradigms and prejudices and encouraging the development of critical thinking. These educational initiatives aim to provide trustworthy information, reaching children and teenagers, as well as their parents and teachers, who are most often unaware of the matter. Both projects have been carefully monitored, collecting important reference data about visitors’ profile, suggesting new possibilities to approach society to nuclear technology.


science communication, teaching strategies, nuclear technology.


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