The Provenance Of Certainty

Multiple Source Use and the Public Engagement with Science

Authored by: Rainer Bromme , Marc Stadtler , Lisa Scharrer

Handbook of Multiple Source Use

Print publication date:  March  2018
Online publication date:  March  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138646599
eBook ISBN: 9781315627496
Adobe ISBN:


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Linda, a young mother, notices her 2-year-old daughter’s interest in the family tablet computer. Wondering what science has to say about the upsides and downsides of young children interacting with digital devices, she fetches her tablet, which, in fact, she has to take away from her daughter. Linda enters the search term “effects tablet use small children,” resulting in 40,300,000 hits. She notices that only a few documents are authored by scientists or experts. Further, when she sees that three of her first 10 hits are recommendations on purchasing a tablet for her daughter, she tries to take a closer look at the sources of the websites. However, gathering more information about the authors’ expertise and intentions would require additional time, and through her desperate attempts to reach for the tablet, Linda’s daughter does not leave her mother any time for further investigations.

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