Moral Motives and STEM-Informed Action | Motivos morales y acción basada en STEM

A new book explores motivations for engaging in STEM-informed action.

by Uduak Grace ThomasJena Barchas-LichtensteinJohn Voiklis
Mar 17, 2023

The informal learning community often assumes that people choose to learn for one of two reasons: dispassionate interest in the subject, or some kind of drive for achievement or mastery. But this story is incomplete — what about motivations for learning that are connected to our desire to protect other people or support their wellbeing?

Between January and April 2022, we brought together theorists and science communicators from informal learning institutions (including news outlets). The goal was to have them talk directly to each other about what questions matter most for science communication: what answers moral theory might provide, and what practical insights might better inform theory. We also think it's important to point out that we shun binaries: many of our participants are both researchers (perhaps theorists) and practitioners, although we sometimes asked everyone to self-identify as primarily one or the other for break-out purposes.

Below, you can find the open-access proceedings from this conference in both English and Spanish. Thanks to Leticia Molinero Translation Studio for translating the proceedings into Spanish! The links below include provocations for both informal STEM learning and moral psychology, dialogues between participants, and individual reflections. If you’d like to download the entire book, click the link at the top of the page!

Table of Contents

The STEM Moral Motives Workshop, Provocations & Recommendations for Science Communicators & Sci-Comm Researchers | Provocaciones y recomendaciones para personas dedicadas a la comunicación científica y la investigación en comunicación científica

I. Beginnings | I. Comienzos

John Voiklis, Jena Barchas-Lichtenstein, Bennett Attaway, Uduak Grace Thomas, & Nicole LaMarca, The Origins of the Moral Motives Conference: Public Health Behavior | Los orígenes de la Conferencia sobre motivos morales: el comportamiento de la salud pública

Ronnie Janoff-Bulman, Morality and Moral Motives | La moralidad y los motivos morales

The STEM Moral Motives Workshop, Interlude: Contexts for STEM-Informed Action | Interludio: contextos para la acción basada en STEM

II. Science for Whom? By Whom? | II. ¿Ciencia para quién? ¿Por quién?

Jena Barchas-Lichtenstein, Uduak Grace Thomas, & John Voiklis, Science for Whom? By Whom? | ¿Ciencia para quién? ¿Por quién?

Jason Corwin & Ronnie Janoff-Bulman, From Rights to Responsibilities and Relations | De los derechos a las responsibilidades y relaciones

Jo-Elle Mogerman & Michelle Ciurria, “We Are the World” and Other Views on Collective Action: A Discussion | “Somos el mundo” y otras opinions sobre la acción collectiva: una discusión

Laura Santhanam & Laura Niemi, The Stakes of Getting it Right: A Discussion | Lo que está en juego: una discusión

The STEM Moral Motives Workshop, Interlude: Talking Across Disciplines | Interludio: charlas interdisciplinarias

III. Zooming Out to Institutions | III. Profundizar la perspectiva de las instituciones

Uduak Grace Thomas, Jena Barchas-Lichtenstein, & John Voiklis, Zooming Out to Institutions | Profundizar la perspectiva de las instituciones

Michelle Ciurria, John Voiklis, Laura Niemi, & Uduak Grace Thomas, What Does a Benevolent Institution Look Like? A Conversation | ¿Cómo es una institución benevolente?: una conversación

Michelle Ciurria & Jacklyn Grace Lacey, Money and Power: A Discussion | Dinero y poder: Una discusión

Bertram F. Malle, Lisa Chalik, & Jason Corwin, Moral Motives, Moral Communities, & Engagement with Science | Motivos morales, comunidades morales y compromiso con la ciencia

IV. What’s Next? | IV. ¿Qué sigue?

Jena Barchas-Lichtenstein, John Voiklis, & Uduak Grace Thomas, Where do we go from here? | ¿A dónde vamos desde aquí?

Lisa Chalik, Can Moral Motives Be Used as a Tool to Encourage STEM-Informed Action? Should They? | ¿Pueden utilizarse los motivos morales como herramienta para fomentar la acción basada en STEM? ¿Deben utilizarse así?

Laura Niemi, Moral Values Shape Knowledge and Beliefs about Science | Los valores morales conforman el conocimiento y las creencias sobre la ciencia

Michelle Ciurria, A Marxist-Feminist Analysis of Scientific Practice, Communication, and Public Trust | Un análisis marxista feminista de la práctica científica, la comunicación y la confianza del público

Jason Corwin, The Morality of Western Mainstream Science Isn’t Universal | La moralidad de la ciencia occidental dominante no es universal

Martina G. Efeyini, Why We Need Open Conversation About Science | Por qué necesitamos una conversación abierta sobre la ciencia

Jo-Elle Mogerman, What we Learn about STEM Learning and Action from an ‘80s Pop Song | Lo que aprendemos sobre el aprendizaje y la acción basada en STEM de una canción pop de los 80

Ronnie Janoff-Bulman, Help Us Save Flory! | ¡Ayúdanos a salvar a Flory!

Colleen Cotter, Moral Motives for STEM Learning and Action | Motivos morales para el aprendizaje y la acción basada en STEM

Reyhaneh Maktoufi, Productive Failure: Observations and Interpretations from a Research-Practice Collaboration Project | Fracaso productivo: observaciones e interpretaciones de un proyecto de colaboración entre investigación y práctica

John Voiklis & Jena Barchas-Lichtenstein, The Productivity of Productive Failure | La productividad del fracaso productivo

V. About the Workshop | V. Sobre el taller

The STEM Moral Motives Workshop, Collaborative Glossary | Glosario colaborativo

Participants | Participantes


1 Facilitator
2 Editor

Funding Statement

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 2139278. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

Photo by Erol Ahmed at Unsplash

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