Global Network of National Geoparks

'Dumbing Down' but maintaining scientific integrity: some examples of promoting geological heritage

Published :March 18, 2008
J. Macadam
Earthwords, Littie Kirland House, Bodmin, Cornwall, PL305BJ, England, Uk

Keywords: Geoconservation, geotourism, lifelong learning, PUS-Public Understanding of Science, tourism

Much geological information allegedly targeted at non-geologists assumes prior knowledge, and much incorporates geological jargon. Simplifying the information, and avoiding the use of technical tems, is often described as 'dumbing down'. Presented here are a wide range of materials promoting to appeal to and to be understood by a non-specialist audience, while still being scientifically accurate. National Curriculum, and with a local educational initiative in Cornwall, are also presented. The examples cover areas in Cornwall, Torbay (the 'Coral Coast') and the Peak National Park. Though the materials are targeted at a non-specialist audience, and in one cast at families with children, it is the contention that they also provide content for amateur and even visiting professional geologists. The funding for the interpretation has come from a wide range of local and national bodies, the European Union, as well as NGOs and charities.