What science are you singing? A study of the science image in the mainstream music of Taiwan

Chun-Ju Huang, Joachim Allgaier

Previous research showed that pop music bands in the Western world have sometimes included science imagery in their lyrics. Their songs could potentially be helpful facilitators for science communication and public engagement purposes. However, so far no systematic research has been conducted for investigating science in popular music in Eastern cultures. This study explores whether science has been regarded as an element in the creation of popular mainstream music, and examines the content and quantity of distribution through an analysis of mainstream music lyrics, to reflect on the conditions of the absorption of science into popular culture. The results indicate that expressions related to astronomy and space science feature very prominently. Most of the lyrics are connected to emotional states and mood expressions and they are only very rarely related to actual issues of science. The implications for science communication and further research are discussed in the final section.

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