The issue of scientific citizenship in the context of STEM education has been under debate for over two decades. We present a preliminary study which aims to investigate if, how and why the development of hard scientific skills grounded in the discipline of complex systems (suitably simplified and adapted) may foster the development of citizenship skills that can impact on people’s approaches to facing problems and making decisions. We carried out a pilot study with a group of 34 volunteer adult citizens. The data analysis showed that: i) in the beginning, only a few participants were comfortable dealing with scientific and epistemological concepts related to complex systems, favouring instead a “common sense” approach towards decision-making; ii) in some successful cases, there was an alignment between scientific competences and decision-making strategies, suggesting that it is possible to design activities based on authentic scientific concepts in order to develop citizenship skills.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.