Book Review

15/11/2017

Shroeder Sorensen analyses in depth the close relationship of the TV-series Cosmos [1980] with the popular culture, in its broadest sense, at the time of its release. The novel application of Fantasy-Theme analysis to the rhetorical vision of the series reveals how it is the product of a very careful and successful design. The book also compares the original series with its 2014 reboot Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey [2014].

13/03/2017

van den Sanden and Vries curate reflections and insights about the shared goals, practices and processes which bring together academics and practitioners in science education and communication. The book spotlights areas of productive overlap but is just the beginning for meaningful collaboration.

22/02/2017

Englehard et al. provide a wide-ranging look at synthetic biology, from discussion of how one might classify different synthetic approaches to consideration of risk and ethical issues. The chapter on public engagement considers why synthetic biology seems to sit below the public radar.

20/07/2016

BOOK: Olson, R. (2015). Houston, we have a narrative: Why science needs story. Chicago, U.S.A.: University of Chicago Press

Scientist-turned-filmmaker Randy Olson makes a bold claim: scientists cannot adequately explain their own work. He attributes all of the issues facing science communication today ― false positives, an uninterested public, and unapproved grant proposals ― to scientists' lack of narrative intuition. Rather than turn to the humanities for help, Olson suggests scientists learn from the true masters of storytelling ― Hollywood filmmakers. His latest book examines the age-old divide between science and the humanities, as well as the new adversarial relationship between science and film, which he says can save science.

17/06/2016

BOOK: Content is king; News media management in the digital age.
Graham, G., Greenhill, A., Shaw, D.Andvargo, C., Eds (2015), London, U.K.: Bloomsbury

The ‘traditional’ media industry ― newspapers and magazines and the like ― have had a difficult time lately thanks to increasing competition online. This book's chapters consider ways the traditional media can reinvent themselves to secure their future. Two key themes that emerge from the chapters are the importance of building communities and the increasing role of credibility in today's highly-competitive media landscape. While this book does not focus on the science media, many of the conclusions are relevant to it, in fact some are cause for comfort for those involved with science journalism.

24/11/2015

The ever-changing nature of academic science communication discourse can make it challenging for those not intimately associated with the field ― scientists and science-communication practitioners or new-comers to the field such as graduate students ― to keep up with the research. This collection of articles provides a comprehensive overview of the subject and serves as a thorough reference book for students and practitioners of science communication.

19/12/2014

In this book, Brian G. Southwell discusses how disparities in information-sharing arise and what can be done to alleviate them. In all sorts of ways and for all sorts of reasons, people have always sought to share information among their family and other social networks. However, this sharing has never been equal: inevitably, some people are better-informed than others and some are more socially-connected than others. At first glance, the plethora of communication tools and technologies available nowadays should help democratise information and reduce disparity but differences in how, when and with whom information is shared create conversation gaps and maintain inequalities. Southwell explores and catalogues information-sharing behaviours, discusses the factors that affect how and why we share information and addresses the questions of why disparities in information-sharing matter and what we can do about the gaps between ‘information-haves’ and ‘information have-nots’.

21/09/2011

The Encyclopedia of Science and Technology Communication has approximately 300 entries on science communication and is capable of meeting the needs of readers of differing profiles. The entries cover eighteen categories, including controversial science topics and tendencies of media coverage; panoramas of science communication in different regions or continents; legal and ethical aspects; important science players; history, philosophy and sociology of science; theories and research on science communication, and many other topics. By concentrating different information about a field of research and of practical multidisciplinary actions in only one source, the publication serves as a reference for beginners in the area as well as for those who are more experienced in the area. Although conceptualized to serve as quick introductions to the concepts and practices of science communication, the entries are contextualized and each item is explored from various angles in simple language.

21/12/2010

Eduard Kaeser has written an interesting and critical book that is concerned with the connections between science and everyday life. The conception of ‘pop science’ is introduced to characterize developments in science popularisation that are spectacular, superficial and potentially harmful to science-society relationships. The book is of special interest to the science communication community, since it may initiate discussion about the purposes of communicating science, and also about legitimate and illegitimate strategies and means of doing so.

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