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dc.contributor.advisorJohnston, Andrew Ross
dc.contributor.authorCarlini, Sharon Maree
dc.date.available2014-07-04T02:39:29Z
dc.date.copyright2014
dc.identifier.citationCarlini, S. M. (2014). Combating the Selective Use of Science: the extraordinary case of elephants in captivity (Thesis, Master of Science Communication). University of Otago. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10523/4893en
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10523/4893
dc.description.abstractIt is not uncommon for scientists to find their work, in its entirety or in part, becoming enmeshed in highly politicised issues. In the 21st Century, given the ease with which we can source information and the rapidity of the changes in the information flow it becomes simple for non-specialists to knit vaguely related ideas together to create what might appear to be a plausible story or narrative. The aim can be to borrow legitimacy from science to give credence to a cause. This thesis explores the question: Can science communicators combat politicised discourse and narratives where the science is being ignored, smothered, or at least used selectively, by those involved? One area for study in this regard involves captive elephants. By focusing on two distinct groups within this discourse, animal rights on one side and elephant advocates within zoos and circuses on the other, this thesis presents some of the narratives which could be better informed if the relevant science became part of the discourse. Central to this debate is the role of the bullhook or ankus in elephant management; central because it is at the core of many decisions facing the zoos and circuses, and demonstrates how emotion may have obscured or sidelined the science. Evidence is also presented on the value of encounters with animals and the animal-human connection that evolves as a result. The available evidence suggests that these encounters may be instrumental in changing attitudes and guiding the future action of the people experiencing such encounters. These encounters can occur in many situations, however the educational programmes provided by zoos offer one very accessible environment in which they can occur. While critics suggest there is no evidence to support the effectiveness of zoo educational programmes, in this thesis evidence is presented to the contrary, and prompts the question: ‘Why are zoos not effectively promoting this important component of their work?’ In conclusion, this thesis proposes that effective communication techniques must be authentic and transparent, and delivered through a clearly devised plan. The examination of the current narrative and discourse regarding the use of the bullhook or ankus provides an opportunity to evaluate that particular narrative and discourse, the related science involved and leads to suggestions as to how that science might be heard in the discourse through revised and targeted narratives.
dc.format.mimetypeapplication/pdf
dc.language.isoen
dc.publisherUniversity of Otago
dc.rightsAll items in OUR Archive are provided for private study and research purposes and are protected by copyright with all rights reserved unless otherwise indicated.
dc.subjectelephants
dc.subjectcaptive elephants
dc.subjectdominant narrative
dc.subjectzoo
dc.subjectcircus
dc.subjectankus
dc.subjectbullhook
dc.subjectanimal encounter
dc.subjectencounter value
dc.subjectcommunication
dc.subjectdiscourse
dc.subjectscience communication
dc.titleCombating the Selective Use of Science: the extraordinary case of elephants in captivity
dc.typeThesis
dc.date.updated2014-07-04T02:08:44Z
dc.language.rfc3066en
thesis.degree.disciplineCentre for Science Communication
thesis.degree.nameMaster of Science Communication
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Otago
thesis.degree.levelMasters
otago.interloanno
otago.openaccessOpen
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