Article

03/09/2012

Danish agriculture and seed science have a history of successful collaboration spanning more than a hundred years. In this study, we interviewed 26 growers, consultants, and scientists from the Danish seed community focusing on their current knowledge status and on their views on improving scientific knowledge communication. Theoretically, we consider these actors participants in different communities of practice relating to the production of seeds (Seed-CoP), and we conclude that strong network collaboration is present among Danish seed-CoP effectuated by the valuable work undertaken by the consultants. We discovered a divergence in knowledge dissemination among the growers – an innovative group of growers with a high demand for new scientific knowledge versus a majority of growers content with the level of knowledge provided by the consultants. ‘Time’ was recognized as an important parameter, as only the innovative growers prioritized time allocation for additional knowledge search. To improve scientific knowledge dissemination and interdisciplinary collaboration among Danish seed-CoP we recommend a combination of face-to-face and online communication processes.

31/08/2012

The paper examines the coverage of S&T related items published in selected English-language Indian newspapers in terms of their quantification and thematic representation. S&T is not the priority of the English-language newspapers in India. Even sports get several times more coverage than science. There is a case for amply visible representation of science in the press. Health, Environment, Space S&T, and Astronomy were the four dominant subjects covered. Most of the science covered in the newspapers was performed in the US, the UK and other advanced countries of Europe. Among all the newspapers, The Times of India devoted the maximum space to S&T coverage

21/06/2012

We analyse the science and technology news reports covered by the Jornal Nacional, the Brazilian newscast with the largest audience, which is broadcast at prime time on a free-to-air channel. The constructed week methodology was used to compose a sample of 72 newscasts, representative of an entire year (from April 2009 to March 2010): 77 science and technology news reports were thus identified, occupying an average of 7.3% of the newscast's daily broadcasting time, and therefore giving evidence that such matters belong on the JN's agenda. Content analysis has enabled us to observe the following: most reports were focused on announcing research results; the main fields dealt with were medical science and health; the coverage of national research projects ranked highest; researchers and scientific institutes represented the main sources of the news items; scientists were mostly shown in their offices, and as far as interviews are concerned female scientists were a minority. The approach to science was more positive than negative and controversial aspects were scarcely explored.

21/06/2012

Science communication processes are complex and uncertain. Designing and managing these processes using a step-by-step approach, allows those with science communication responsibility to manoeuvre between moral or normative issues, practical experiences, empirical data and theoretical foundations. The tool described in this study is an evidence-based questionnaire, tested in practice for feasibility. The key element of this decision aid is a challenge to the science communication practitioners to reflect on their attitudes, knowledge, reasoning and decision-making in a step-by-step manner to question the aim, function and impact of each issue and attendant communication process or strategy. This approach eventually leads to more professional science communication processes by systematic design. The Design-Based Research (DBR) derived from science education and applied in this study, may form a new methodology for further exploration of the gap between theory and practice in science communication and. Practitioners, scholars, and researchers all participate actively in DBR.

17/05/2012

Should one aim at presenting a local or global science perspective in construing an effective museum narration for communicating scientific and technological issues in natural science? This article will attempt to respond to this question by presenting the data of an evaluation exercise undertaken by the Trento Natural History Museum (Museo Tridentino di Scienze Naturali – MTSN) from 2009 to 2011. The local dimension apparently lies at the heart of the museum’s appeal for its visitors: they associate their mountain surroundings with the symbol of the region’s identity, and appreciate in particular the efforts undertaken by the museum to communicate and conserve the mountain’s environment. Indeed, in their opinion, by protecting the mountains and disseminating knowledge about them, the museum indirectly acts as a custodian of the region’s own identity. However, interest in local issues far from rules out global scientific themes, whose presence is sought to complement and interact with the local discourse.

16/03/2012

The paper investigates diversity in terms of interest and goals in international research in Physical Education (PE). This investigation is based on publications in PE indexed in three major international databases, namely Medline, Scopus and Web of Science (WoS). To identify these publications in Medline, we searched for “physical education and training”. As for the WoS and Scopus, we searched for “physical education” in the title, abstract or key-word. We also searched for “physical education” in the affiliation address only in the Scopus database, which we describe as Scopus-Afill. Using these strategies, we found 2,257 documents in Medline, 6,107 in WoS, 8,807 in Scopus and 5,838 in Scopus – Affil. for the 1991-2005 period. Our findings offer evidence that PE research is mostly associated with biological and medical sciences. However, our results show that the field is multifaceted when it comes to the nature of PE contributions to knowledge.

01/03/2012

This paper explores the idea of the post-museum as an immersive knowledge experience facilitating conceptual and strategic directions in public engagement with science and technology. It considers the extent to which the museum has evolved from repository of cultural artefacts to experience-based process of knowledge acquisition and production. The post-museum is invoked as a model of participatory pedagogy that moves beyond traditional forms of learning, knowledge acquisition and knowledge interface, and conceptualisations of the learner in science. It is presented as an educational and recreational experience, which locates and translates knowledge to the novice or non-traditional patron using rich social narratives that ground scientific expertise in the practice of everyday life. The experience of science is thus made familiar and relevant and concurrently regulated and owned by the visitor. The learner is consequently recast from passive recipient of information-bites to choreographer, translator and innovator within a scientific knowledge continuum.

15/02/2012

Most accounts of an ideal scientific discourse proscribe ad hominem appeals as one way to distinguish it from public discourse. Because of their frequent use of ad hominem attacks, the Climategate email messages provoked strong criticisms of climate scientists and climate science. This study asks whether the distinction between public and scientific discourse holds in this case and thus whether the exclusion of ad hominem arguments from scientific discourse is valid. The method of analysis comes from the field of informal logic in which argument fallacies like the ad hominem are classified and assessed. The approach in this study focuses on a functional analysis of ad hominem—their uses rather than their classification. The analysis suggests three distinct functional uses of ad hominem remarks among the Climategate emails: (1) indirect, (2) tactical, and (3) meta-. Consistent with previous research on ad hominem arguments in both public and scientific discourse, these results reinforce the common opinion of their fallacious character. Only the remarks of the last type, the meta- ad hominem, seemed to be non-fallacious in that they might help to preempt the very use of ad hominem attacks in scientific discourse.

09/12/2011

Innovation processes are rarely smooth and disruptions often occur at transition points were one knowledge domain passes the technology on to another domain. At these transition points communication is a key component in assisting the smooth hand over of technologies. However for smooth transitions to occur we argue that appropriate structures have to be in place and boundary spanning activities need to be facilitated. This paper presents three case studies of innovation processes and the findings support the view that structures and boundary spanning are essential for smooth transitions. We have explained the need to pass primary responsibility between agents to successfully bring an innovation to market. We have also shown the need to combine knowledge through effective communication so that absorptive capacity is built in process throughout the organisation rather than in one or two key individuals.

28/11/2011

Currently, science is developing rapidly and its influence on society is more significant than ever. This is all the more reason for today’s scientists to interact with the general public. To design effective science communication activities, we must understand scientists’ motivations and barriers to publicly communicating science. In this study, we interviewed 19 early-career scientists who had participated in science cafes in Japan. From these interviews, we identified five factors leading to their reluctance to participate in science cafes: 1) troublesome or time-consuming; 2) pressure to be an appropriate science representative; 3) outside the scope of their work; 4) could not perceive any benefit; and 5) apprehension about dialogue with the public. Among these factors, apprehension about dialogue may be the clearest reflection of the scientists’ underlying feelings about this form of communication and an indicator of more intrinsic barriers to engaging in science cafes.

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