How Discourse About Homeopathy Was Affected By The 10:23 Campaign: A Case Study In Public Engagement
This is a summary of the report of a research project I carried out for the Science and the Public module of my MSc in Science and Society with the Open University. The OU bars publishing of assignments (for obvious reasons) so I have written this as an alternative. I got a distinction for the module, and comments on the research project included “timely”, “innovative” and “thorough”.
A campaign led by skeptical amateurs aimed to change the way the public thinks about homeopathy by participating in a mass “overdose” event. Mainstream press media, blogs and tweets from timeframes around that event were analysed to identify how the campaign, plus other events, changed public discourse on homeopathy.
It is noted that there was a shift from technical discourse to political discourse calling for changes in public policy on homeopathy. I conclude that skeptics have great potential to act as agents for citizen engagement with science, but that professional support is essential for pro-am programs to be effective.