Latest publications

Jul 08, 2024 Article
Exploring the behavioral mechanisms of Chinese scientists' public engagement with science based on an integrative model

by Yang Li and Lijun Zhu

Based on self-determination theory and the theory of planned behavior, this study explored the predictors and behavioral mechanisms associated with Chinese scientists' public engagement with science. The results indicated that scientists' participation was associated with their levels of perceived autonomy, their attitudes toward participation and the media, subjective norms, perceived policies, their own efficacy, specific facilitating conditions, habits related to communication, and their willingness to engage. Under different levels of autonomy, these indicators had different association with scientists' willingness to engage and their reported participation in science communication activities. As levels of controlled motivation (or external requirement to communicate) increased, more negative effects related to willingness to participate or self-reported participation were identified, and amotivation (a lack of motivation) had a direct negative association with participation. The theoretical and practical implications of these findings are discussed.

Volume 23 • Issue 05 • 2024

Jul 01, 2024 Article
Brazilian National Science and Technology Week: a case study on engagement behaviors and impacts on the public

by Wilmo Ernesto Francisco Junior

This practice insight describes a case study in which structured observation and questionnaires (for visitors and presenters) were combined to investigate a public science event during Brazilian National Science and Technology Week (NSTW) in 2019. A very large proportion of participants (68.6% of visitors and 25 of the 31 presenters) had been unaware of the NSTW. Among those visitors who showed initial engagement, more than half progressed towards more effective engagement behaviors. The relaxed atmosphere favored the public's participation. Activities in generic locations in less favored areas are relevant to reach out to a diverse audience. Further research is recommended for critical assessment of similar events.

Volume 23 • Issue 05 • 2024

Jun 24, 2024 Practice Insight
Increasing culturally relevant science media coverage: exploring the outcomes of a collaboration in Puerto Rico

by Mónica I. Feliú Mójer, Andrea Isabel López, Wilson González-Espada, Ernesto Cabezas Bou, Claudia Colón-Echevarría, Ailed Cruz Collazo, Jetsimary García-Justiniano, José Liquet y González, Charlene Rivera-Bonet, Angelie Rivera-Rodríguez, Attabey Rodríguez Benítez, Luis Alexis Rodríguez-Cruz, Priscila Rodríguez García and Giovanna Guerrero-Medina

CienciaPR, a nonprofit that brings together the largest network of Puerto Rican scientists and one of the largest networks of Hispanic/Latine scientists in the world, has collaborated with El Nuevo Día (END), Puerto Rico's newspaper of record, to increase culturally relevant stories in their science section. This Practice Insight quantifies and compares the presence of culturally relevant elements (e.g., referring to Puerto Rico, local landmarks, historic figures, slang) and other content information (e.g., topics, location, focus, protagonist) in articles authored by CienciaPR members versus articles by END, news agencies, and other organizations. Results demonstrate that CienciaPR-authored articles published in END featured culturally relevant elements more often (e.g., mentioned Puerto Rico, used Puerto Rican slang, stories located in Puerto Rico) than those by other sources.

Volume 23 • Issue 05 • 2024

Jun 17, 2024 Article
Housing activists' science communication: online practices as contextual and reflexive

by Andrea Schikowitz and Sarah R. Davies

Based on an understanding of science communication as `social conversation about science', in this paper we explore how technoscientific knowledge is communicated through housing activists' use of online media. We analyse collaborative housing groups in Vienna and find that their online communication practices are contextual and reflexive: technoscientific knowledges are always contextualised through the activists' political issues, while the activists constantly reflect on and negotiate their means and style of communication. The case both offers insights into the diverse ways and sites in which public sense-making about science takes place, and inspiration for other forms of science communication.

Volume 23 • Issue 05 • 2024

Jun 10, 2024 Practice Insight
Measuring the impacts of participatory citizen science: lessons from the WeCount sustainable mobility project

by Ana Margarida Sardo, Sophie Laggan, Laura Fogg-Rogers, Elke Franchois, Giovanni Maccani, Kris Vanherle and Enda Hayes

WeCount was designed to empower citizens in five case studies across Europe to take a leading role in the production of data, evidence, knowledge and solutions for local sustainable mobility. This practice insight aims to explore the suitability and value of citizen science to address sustainable mobility and sustainable transport issues. The evaluation showed that WeCount was able to reach and sustain engagement with broad demographics in society and highlighted the importance of co-design in making citizen science enjoyable and empowering. Statistical significance was found: the more a citizen enjoyed their time, the more likely they were to state they would continue working with the data beyond the project. Moreover, WeCount citizens reported that participation led to action and/or changes in behaviours. While the numbers are modest (24 individual actions by around 10% of participants), this is an important, measurable outcome.

Volume 23 • Issue 05 • 2024

Jun 03, 2024 Editorial
Why should we think about social justice in science communication?

by Emily Dawson, Mehita Iqani and Simon Lock

What is science communication for? We argue that science communication can be framed, reimagined and transformed in service of social justice, which is what the papers in this special issue examine. We understand the vocabulary of “social justice” to signal the centring of critical research and practice paradigms, an ethical commitment to righting wrongs, building equity for all human beings and the broader ideal of improving the world [Fraser, 2003; Sen, 2009; Young, 1990]. We argue that bringing critical social justice lenses to science communication can usefully interrogate, rethink and ultimately reshape our field. This special issue examines both critical perspectives on science communication and what equitable transformations might entail.

Volume 23 • Issue 04 • 2024 • Special Issue: Science communication for social justice

Jun 03, 2024 Article
Plants and Peoples exhibit at MUHNAC: analysis of traditional and scientific medicine from the perspective of the Epistemologies of South

by Martha Marandino and Maria Paula Meneses

The article explores the ““Cure, Malaria, Frederic Welwitsch and the Healer”” theme of the exhibition “Plants and Peoples” from the Museum of Natural History and Science, Portugal. The study focuses on the research carried out by German naturalist F. Welwitsch on local plants in Angola as well as on history of lived colonial experience A. M. Mafumo, a healer from Mozambique, arrested for practicing “traditional medicine”. Using the analytical framework of the Epistemologies of the South we analyze the relationships between traditional and scientific knowledge using documentation, as well as interviews with curators and visitors. The article questions the exhibit' dialogue between these knowledges as an expression of an ecology of knowledges.

Volume 23 • Issue 04 • 2024 • Special Issue: Science communication for social justice

Jun 03, 2024 Essay
Scientific temper: towards an alternate model of science-society relationships

by Siddharth Kankaria and Anwesha Chakraborty

Scientific temper, a mainstay in Indian science policies and science communication/education programmes, conceptualises citizens as scientifically conscious and powerful agents that approach societal issues with a rational and critical mind rather than taking refuge in religious, superstitious and pseudoscientific worldviews. Our essay provides a brief history of this term and compares it with existing science communication models to demonstrate how, despite sharing commonalities, it is distinct from models like deficit, dialogue, and participation. We elucidate how scientific temper fosters critical features like a process-oriented approach, reflexivity, democratisation of scientific expertise and being a potential tool for decolonisation. Lastly, we propose scientific temper as an alternate framework for democratising knowledge-making and -sharing, building an engaged deliberative citizenry, and studying science-society relationships overall.

Volume 23 • Issue 04 • 2024 • Special Issue: Science communication for social justice

Jun 03, 2024 Essay
Fugitive publics: sex, sexuality, and science communication

by Chase Ledin

This article attends to the absences and silences of sexual identity and knowledge in science communication scholarship. It locates identitarian debates within this scholarship and utilises queer theory to encourage a shift towards a post-identitarian approach to conceptualising sex (as a social act) in science communication. In this way, this article advocates for a queer science communication that critically examines normative identities, practices, institutions, and policies, and makes room for subjugated knowledges within science communication theory and practice.

Volume 23 • Issue 04 • 2024 • Special Issue: Science communication for social justice

Jun 03, 2024 Article
Science communicators from marginalized backgrounds challenge STEM cultural norms to promote community belonging

by Evelyn Valdez-Ward, Robert N. Ulrich, Nic Bennett, Esmeralda Martinez-Maldonado, Allison Mattheis, Kathleen K. Treseder, Bruno Takahashi and Sunshine Menezes

In the U.S., navigating STEM with marginalized identities can affect scientists' communication practices. There is a critical need for science communication training that accounts for the historical oppressions, discriminations, and inequities of marginalized communities. In this paper we analyzed 712 participant responses from ReclaimingSTEM science communication workshops to understand how marginalized scientists' identities influence their science communication practices. We found that participants' experiences of exclusion and hostility in STEM spaces influenced their engagement in science communication. Scientists from marginalized backgrounds aim to change the culture of STEM through their communication efforts to promote a sense of belonging for their communities.

Volume 23 • Issue 04 • 2024 • Special Issue: Science communication for social justice

JCOM metrics

  • 2023 CiteScore: 3.4
  • 2023 Impact Factor: 2.0 (Q2)

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