In light of myriad resistances to scientific facts and rising mathematical misconceptions that have emerged throughout the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, this special issue of the Electronic Journal for Research in Science & Mathematics Education centers around public education, public rhetorics, and/or scientific argumentation. Authors may address this context from a range of perspectives. We invite work originating in education, rhetoric, science, mathematics, English, philosophy, communication, or other disciplines. We welcome theoretical, empirical, or practitioner pieces.

These issues of distrust and interpretation are not new. For instance, Gaonkar’s (1993) critique of the rhetoric of science, reproduced and responded to in Gross and Keith’s (1997) Rhetorical Hermeneutics: Invention and Interpretation in the Age of Science, began a conversation around the sociology of scientific knowledge that demands extension and reinterpretation in our contemporary context. We can no longer ignore the “discursive debris that surrounds us” (p. 25) and write off scientific skepticism and statistical misinterpretation as totalizing ignorance of the untrained, knowledgeable public sphere.

Aside from the current pandemic, there are urgent problems that science will have to address in the coming decades: the consequences of climate change (IPCC, 2017), clean water scarcity (UNICEF, 2022), food safety (WHO, 2018), and the ethics of artificial intelligence (Bostrom & Yudkowsky, 2014) or CRISPR-driven genetic enhancement (Brokowski & Adli, 2019), just to name a few. Lives are on the line. This special issue aims to take up these rhetorical problems, among others, and explore their relationship to science and mathematics education whether in formal spaces or public spaces of learning.

EJRSME invites authors and researchers of any discipline that may speak to the issues below:

● Philosophies of/in science or mathematics education (epistemology, ontology, and/or ethics)

● Public persuasion through scientific data (qualitative, quantitative, mixed methods)

● Social media’s role in spreading disinformation or misinformation around science or mathematics

● Public knowledge-construction related to science, statistics, medicine, climate change, and other pressing issues

● Challenges in communicating nuanced and/or complex scientific topics to lay audiences

● Belief change among students, teachers, or the general public

● Curriculum development and pedagogical techniques that address the aforementioned issues

Submission Guidelines and Review Timeline

We welcome both single author and collaborative abstracts from professors, graduate students, and K16 practitioners.

Abstracts should be submitted through the EJRSME submission portal by June 15, 2022 for consideration. You may need to create an account. Please submit your abstract under a new submission in the “Special Call” section to be considered. You will be notified of your invitation to submit a manuscript by July 1, 2022. If invited, manuscripts should be submitted as a Word Document, be within 4,000-6,000 words (although longer pieces may be considered), and follow APA (7th Edition) format.

We ask that manuscripts be submitted by October 1, 2022. We expect to get back feedback to authors by November. The issue is slated to be published in late December for our Winter 2022 issue.

If you have any questions please reach out to the guest editor for the special issue, Jonathan W. Crocker (


Bostrom, N. & Yudkowsky, E. (2014). The ethics of artificial intelligence. In K. Frankish and W. M. Ramsey (Eds.) The Cambridge handbook of artificial intelligence (pp. 316-334). Cambridge University Press.

Brokowski, C., & Adli, M. (2019). CRISPR ethics: moral considerations for applications of a powerful tool. Journal of Molecular Biology, 431(1), 88-101.

Gaonkar, D. P. (1993). The idea of rhetoric in the rhetoric of science. Southern Journal of Communication, 58(4), 258-295.

Gross, A. G., & Keith, W. M. (1997). Rhetorical hermeneutics: Invention and interpretation in the age of science. SUNY Press.

IPCC (2017). Chapter outline of the working group II contribution to the IPCC sixth assessment report (AR6). The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

UNICEF (2022). Water scarcity: Addressing the growing lack of available water to meet children’s needs. United Nations Children’s Fund.

WHO (2018). Food safety, climate change, and the role of WHO. World Health Organization.