On the cultural authority of science in pandemic times and the cultural post-normality of Mexico

  1. Tarhuni Navarro, Daniela H 1
  2. Sanz Merino, Noemí 2
  1. 1 Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
    info

    Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México

    Ciudad de México, México

    ROR https://ror.org/01tmp8f25

  2. 2 Universitat de les Illes Balears
    info

    Universitat de les Illes Balears

    Palma, España

    ROR https://ror.org/03e10x626

Journal:
Arbor: Ciencia, pensamiento y cultura

ISSN: 0210-1963

Year of publication: 2022

Volume: 198

Issue: 806

Type: Article

DOI: 10.3989/ARBOR.2022.806007 DIALNET GOOGLE SCHOLAR lock_openOpen access editor

More publications in: Arbor: Ciencia, pensamiento y cultura

Abstract

Recent national surveys in Mexico show an increase in acceptance of pseudo-scientific beliefs and practices, as well as a negative public perception of the social visibility of scientists. The COVID-19 pandemic has created a post-normal context that allows us to analyse the relevance that Mexican citizens confer upon science and scientists in times of crisis. This paper presents the results of two 2020 studies on public perception of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the role of science in fighting it, done on two very different population groups in Mexico: the rural (mostly indigenous) population and the urban population. We compare the results from these studies with other national studies on public understanding of science conducted before the pandemic. In this comparison, we use the indicators Progress, Reserves, Knowledge and Engagement, as recently proposed by Bauer et al., as a way of analysing science’s so-called cultural authority. Our study indicates that in this post-normal sociosanitary situation most citizens, as a general rule, show trust in science and recognize its social legitimacy. Finally, in light of some specific results, we argue that the cultural disparities prevalent in Mexico should be considered especially significant in trying to take advantage of science’s current social prestige in order to improve the social appropriation of scientific culture in Mexico in general, that is, beyond specific post-normal contexts.

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