What are Public Interfaces?

Public interfaces” refers to the variety of ways that science and different public audiences intersect. Public interfaces, especially in the life sciences, involve a wide range of stakeholders, including lay audiences, consumer groups, industry and agriculture, policy makers, and other scientists. In addition public interfaces occur within a wide variety of contexts such as when science impinges upon core values, debates fail to distinguish scientific and value judgements, individuals intentionally distort science, or questions are raise about scientific integrity due to controversies within the science community. The interfaces among all these groups and contexts post opportunities and challenges that can differ across different life science issues like genetically modified organisms, climate change, synthetic biology, and vaccines.

Examples of common public interfaces:

  • Museums and Science Centers
  • Science Media (e.g. Blogs, Newspapers, Magazines, Journals, Podcasts, and Radio)
  • Social Media and Science-dedicated websites (e.g. How Stuff Works, Reddit r/science, Zooniverse)
  • Zoos and Aquariums