Science as Experience: A New Approach to Science Communication

Dr. Megan Halpern draws on Dewey’s theory of aesthetic experience to develop a model that can reshape how we research, practice, and evaluate science communication. Drawing on her work in art-science collaboration and design-inspired public engagement with science and technology, Halpern illustrates three principles of her model. First, experiences are cumulative rather than transformative; second, context shapes experience; and third, ultimately, audiences have agency in shaping the meanings they draw from their interactions with scientific content. Finally, Halpern offers insights into how to develop projects from an experience perspective.