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What does the public understand about science? The image of science is often one of analytical remove, of "cold, hard facts." In many ways, scientists and engineers encourage this image, as it highlights the rigor in science, the banning of individual emotion from the drawing of conclusions. Yet at the same time, scientists and engineers struggle with the role of "imagination" in science, regularly acknowledging the creative power of imagination in designing experiments, interpreting results and developing theories. How has this tension been portrayed to the public?
On Nov. 7, 2007, Cornell Professor of Science Communication Bruce Lewenstein presented a talk entitled "Imagination in Science," which
examined the work of three classic popularizers -- Jacques Cousteau, Jacob Bronowski and Carl Sagan -- to explore the variety of how imagination in science has been presented to the public.