Investigating Views of Science and Humanities: Tertiary Educated Adults on Complementary and Alternative Medicines

By Frances Quinn, Neil Taylor, Richard Kevin Coll and William McClune.

Published by The International Journal of Science in Society, Social Sciences Collection

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This qualitative study explored the understandings of people with a university education in science and those without a university science background about the evidence base relating to Complementary and Alternative Medicine - a controversial multibillion-dollar industry on a global scale. The findings indicated that science- trained and non-science-trained respondents alike valued scientific rigour and testing in relation to health care but also used subjective kinds of evidence in justifying their views and decisions about CAMS. In addition, both science and humanities graduates engaged with evidence in similar ways as defined by "habits of mind." These findings are discussed in relation to their implications for science education and engagement with scientific ideas, including scientific literacy and the belief systems that people bring to their understanding of science.

Keywords: Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Evidence, Scientific Habits of Mind

The International Journal of Science in Society, Volume 8, Issue 3, September 2016, pp.31-50. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 838.537KB).

Dr. Frances Quinn

Lecturer, Science and Technology Education, University of New England, Armidale, NSW, Australia

Dr. Neil Taylor

Professor, Science and Technology Education, University of New England, Armidale, NSW, Australia

Prof. Richard Kevin Coll

Deputy Vice Chancellor, Vice Chancellor's Office, University of the South Pacific, Suva, Fiji

Dr. William McClune

Senior Lecturer, School of Education, Queens University Belfast, Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK

Dr Billy McClune is a senior lecturer in science education at the Queens University of Belfast, UK. His particular area of research interest is science and the media