Latest publications

May 13, 2024 Practice Insight
Prioritising community over content: value shifts in science centres

by Jennifer DeWitt and Shaaron Leverment

Science centres are increasingly adopting co-development as a tool to engage diverse audiences with science. The case study featured in this practice insight draws on an evaluation of a programme that aimed to move U.K. science centres towards more inclusive practice. Interviews with staff from eight U.K. science centres and their community partner organisations reflected shifts in science centre practitioners' understanding and valuing of co-development approaches, and, especially, the centrality placed on relationships with communities. This case study can contribute to our understanding and help us reflect on how to align our practice with a commitment to equity.

Volume 23 • Issue 03 • 2024

May 08, 2024 Book Review
Amplifying informal science learning: rethinking research, design, and engagement

by Graham J. Walker

An intriguing book on informal science learning in all its cultural and geographic diversity, deftly balancing theory, practice and the wondrous space in-between.

Volume 23 • Issue 03 • 2024

May 06, 2024 Article
Journalists and scientists together: the public problem of science disinformation in Brazil

by Fábio Henrique Pereira and Raphael Sandes de Oliveira

This article analyzes the public problem of scientific disinformation in the Brazilian media covering the Covid-19 pandemic. A content analysis of 226 articles addressing disinformation as a problem was conducted in a quality newspaper (“Folha de S. Paulo”), a popular website (Metrópoles) and a science journalism magazine (“Pesquisa Fapesp”). The results suggest that the public debate has focused on spreading fake news during the Pandemic and its negative impact on public health. In addition, two opposing discourses, one populist and the other based on the scientific community and institutional normality, structured the public problem of science and disinformation in Brazil.

Volume 23 • Issue 03 • 2024

Apr 29, 2024 Article
Standards for science communication in extended and virtual reality: a model for XR/VR based on London Charter and Seville Principles

by Jose Luis Rubio Tamayo, Daniel Lewis Wuebben and Manuel Gertrudix

Videos featuring research results, laboratory tutorials, and online webinars are fundamental tools for disseminating science and boosting scientific impact. However, extended reality (XR) video technologies, which include virtual reality (VR), represent new challenges for scientists and science communicators. XR and VR can enhance, bend, or distort the reality surrounding scientific facts. The London Charter and Seville Principles are standards for computer-based visualization and reconstruction in a virtual reproduction of heritage sites and research in domains such as archaeology. Here, we develop a similar set of standards for the representation of scientific results in XR and VR and clarify the use of implicit XR and VR elements such as storytelling, setting, agency, interactivity, and other factors. Finally, the authors propose a framework XR/VR Model of Science Representation and Communication, derived from the context and other frameworks for representing information in virtual environments.

Volume 23 • Issue 03 • 2024

Apr 24, 2024 Essay
Studying science in pop culture through textual analysis. An introduction to examining science in visual texts — Street art, comics and (animated) film

by Anna-Sophie Jürgens, Lucy Darragh, Paul Peace, Rita Agha, John Noel Viana and Isabel Richards

Textual analysis is a commonly-used qualitative method for analysing and interpreting cultural texts. This approach elicits how representations occur, their underlying assumptions and how they come to have meaning. Despite the popularity and utility of textual analysis, its interpretive and theoretical strategies are not comprehensively described in science communication research. To fill this gap and clarify how textual analysis can be used to unpack the cultural meanings and representation of science in visual texts — images, comics and films — the authors analyse and discuss four environmentally-themed scholarly articles that apply textual analysis. This showcases the value of textual analysis in investigating and understanding the relationships between pop culture and science, demystifying it for science communication students and researchers.

Volume 23 • Issue 03 • 2024

Apr 22, 2024 Book Review
Through the `queering' glass: looking at science communication from a queer lens

by Siddharth Kankaria

`Queering Science Communication' offers a kaleidoscopic collection of queer insights that both inform and question the field of science communication. Edited by Lindy A. Orthia and Tara Roberson, the book covers a diverse range of topics including LGBTQIA+ representation in science and science communication; examples of science engagement interventions designed for queer audiences; the positive and negative impacts of science (communication) on queer lives; as well as ways of queering the practice, research and teaching of science communication. Despite adopting a predominantly queer lens, this book offers various learnings for engaging a broader spectrum of marginalised identities and for eventually moving towards a more inclusive, pluralistic and reflexive science communication field.

Volume 23 • Issue 03 • 2024

Apr 15, 2024 Article
Citizen science and learning outcomes: assessment of projects in South Africa

by Nonsikelelo Sackey, Corlia Meyer and Peter Weingart

This study assessed educational goals and learning outcomes in 57 citizen science projects in South Africa. Emphasising data collection as the primary objective, the findings revealed a secondary focus on environmental awareness, protection, and management, as well as education and research advancement. Notably, educational goals were often not prioritised, and formal measures for assessing learning outcomes were infrequently employed by project leaders. The study underscores the necessity for systematic approaches to evaluate the educational impacts of citizen science projects in South Africa.

Volume 23 • Issue 03 • 2024

Apr 08, 2024 Article
Effects of message frames and visual cues on cell-cultured meat communication: sensation seeking as a moderator

by Namyeon Lee and Sungkyoung Lee

Cell-cultured meat presents environmental and ethical advantages; however, negative public acceptance remains a significant hurdle. To generate more effective public engagement on this topic, we conducted two online experiments exploring the impact of message framing and food cues (Experiment 1) and the moderating role of an individual's personality trait, sensation seeking, (Experiment 2) on the perception of cultured meat news shared via social media. Our findings revealed that messages employing individual benefit-framing, as opposed to societal benefit-framing, resulted in more positive perceptions of cultured meat. Incorporating direct food cues in the communication led to reduced risk perception, a more favorable attitude, and increased intention to purchase cultured meat. Furthermore, sensation seeking was shown to be a significant moderator for the effects of the message features. Theoretical and practical contributions are discussed.

Volume 23 • Issue 03 • 2024

Apr 02, 2024 Practice Insight
Using science communication research to practice iterative engagement in collaborative nutrient management

by Katherine Canfield and Casey Chatelain

Thoughtful science communication is essential for the success of collaborative, transdisciplinary environmental research. We present an innovative evaluation of a four-year pilot project that took a highly engaged and collaborative approach to managing excess nutrients in the Cape Cod region of Massachusetts, USA. The evaluation approach included mid- and end-of-project interviews with researchers and project partners and a reflection from the lead science communication researcher. We found that an effective science communication evaluation needs to be (1) adaptive, (2) multistage, (3) holistic and objective-based, and (4) democratic and reflexive. Results demonstrate that formative and end-of-project science communication evaluation of research projects lead to improved engagement that better meets all collaborators' needs.

Volume 23 • Issue 03 • 2024

Mar 25, 2024 Editorial
Connecting science communication research and practice: challenges and ways forward

by Liliann Fischer, Germana Barata, Andreas M. Scheu and Ricarda Ziegler

Science communication is a thriving field that is vitally important to confront and overcome current societal challenges. To make science communication effective, science communication research and practice need to come together and share knowledge and experiences. However, their collaboration is hampered by a variety of obstacles on both sides, ranging from lack of time to lack of incentives and awareness. In this Special Issue we give space to authors from a wide range of backgrounds to reflect on the relationship between science communication research and practice and inspire the field with their insights and learnings.

Volume 23 • Issue 02 • 2024 • Special Issue: Connecting science communication research and practice: challenges and ways forward

JCOM metrics

  • 2022 CiteScore: 3.1
  • 2022 Impact Factor: 1.8

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