English Abstract

Science and Technology as Social Symbols: Promoting Transdisciplinarity through Science Communication and STEAM

School of Environment and Society, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Meguro-ku, Tokyo, Japan
Nippon Gomu Kyokaishi,(2021),94(7),230-236 General Review in Japanese

It is increasingly difficult to solve social problems using fragmented knowledge when our environment is constantly fluctuating, the future is unpredictable and people have diverse, often contrasting values. When tackling issues, it is desirable to keep an open mind and incorporate the perspectives of others, not bound by the assumptions and traditional culture of each discipline. This review discusses how science and technology can be integrated with other fields to generate more creative questions and solutions, and what theoretical discussions prevail around such transdisciplinary practice. It introduces the notions of science communication, which aims to produce a dialogue between scientists/engineers and the lay public, and STEAM education and thinking, which view scientific and technological knowledge as continuous to that of other disciplines and ways of thinking. The author also discusses the mechanism of science and technology as social symbols from the perspective of semiotics and translation studies, looking at how rubber and latex are interpreted beyond their functions, using the fashion and media scenes as examples.

Keywords: Science Communication, STEAM, Translation Studies, Semiotics, Dialogue, Transdisciplinarity, Rubber, Latex, Sustainability