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Dec 05, 2022 Article
Politics, economy and society in the coverage of COVID-19 by elite newspapers in US, UK, China and Brazil: a text mining approach

by Luiz Felipe Fernandes Neves and Luisa Massarani

We analyzed 95,970 stories on COVID-19 published in 2020 by newspapers in US, UK, China and Brazil — countries marked by controversial management of the crisis. Through a text mining approach, we identified main topics, subjects, actors and the level of attention. The coverage was politicized in “The New York Times” and “Folha de S. Paulo”; focused on health aspects in “The Guardian”; and emphasized the economic situation in “China Daily”. In this sense, the pandemic has motivated a deeper approach to the multiple dimensions of science and health, pointing to a broader perspective of science communication.

Volume 21 • Issue 07 • 2022

Nov 07, 2022 Commentary
Research in science communication in Latin America: mind the gap

by Luisa Massarani and Thaiane de Oliveira

In this commentary, we discuss the challenges associated with carrying out research in science communication in Latin America. We start with the ‘‘invisibility’’ of Latin American studies in the three most prominent international journals in the field (although there has been a growing number of studies in the region). Then, we look to the recent popularisation of science through social media, the political issues facing the region and the massive spread of disinformation and fake news, which has been widely accentuated by the pandemic. We argue that there is an urgent need but also opportunities for innovation and collaborative research in science communication. Finally, we call attention to how the present situation might lead to bigger gaps among researchers from the developing world, including Latin America, and the so-called developed world.

Volume 21 • Issue 07 • 2022

Dec 06, 2021 Article
Perceptions of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the work of science journalists: global perspectives

by Luisa Massarani, Luiz Felipe Fernandes Neves, Marta Entradas, Tim Lougheed and Martin W. Bauer

The article presents the results of a survey of science journalists from six world regions about their work during the COVID-19 pandemic. The responses show perception of increasing workload for most participants. Local scientists and peer-reviewed articles are the main sources. According to the respondents, scientists have become more available during the pandemic. The use of preprint articles was a frequent practice, but a considerable proportion declared they did not adopt different procedures when reporting them. Most also said they take fake news into account when writing their stories.

Volume 20 • Issue 07 • 2021

Dec 14, 2020 Editorial
COVID-19 and science communication: a JCOM special issue. Part 2

by Luisa Massarani, Padraig Murphy and Rod Lamberts

As COVID-19 continues its devastating pathway across the world, in this second part of the JCOM special issue on communicating COVID-19 and coronavirus we present further research papers and practice insights from across the world that look at specific national challenges, the issue of “fake news” and the possibilities of satire and humour in communicating the seriousness of the deadly disease.

Volume 19 • Issue 07 • 2020 • Special Issue: COVID-19 and science communication, Part II, 2020

Dec 14, 2020 Article
COVID-19 in Brazil: an analysis about the consumption of information on social networks

by Luisa Massarani, Igor Waltz and Tatiane Leal

In this article, we analysed the 100 most engaging contents about COVID-19 on social networks in Brazil, in March 2020, when the disease officially arrived in the country. Within the infodemic context, we analysed the accuracy of the information and the reliability of the websites that guided the debate. Our results show that misinformation/disinformation accounted for 13.5% of the sample and that their average engagement was greater than the one for the information that could be verified in other sources and in accordance with scientific evidence. We also found that professional websites, especially journalistic ones, predominate among sources. The results point to the need to combine science communication strategies with network communication dynamics.

Volume 19 • Issue 07 • 2020 • Special Issue: COVID-19 and science communication, Part II, 2020

Sep 30, 2020 Editorial
COVID-19 and science communication: a JCOM special issue

by Luisa Massarani, Padraig Murphy and Rod Lamberts

The devastating effects of COVID-19 and the speed of both the scientific and medical response and the public information requirements about frontline healthcare work, medical advances and policy and compliance measures has necessitated an intensity of science communication never seen before. This JCOM special issue — the first of two parts — looks at the challenges of communicating COVID-19 and coronavirus in the early spread of the disease in 2020. Here we present papers from across the world that demonstrate the scale of this challenge.

Volume 19 • Issue 05 • 2020 • Special Issue: COVID-19 and science communication, Part I, 2020

Oct 14, 2019 Practice Insight
Telling stories in science communication: case studies of scholar-practitioner collaboration

by Michelle Riedlinger, Luisa Massarani, Marina Joubert, Ayelet Baram-Tsabari, Marta Entradas and Jenni Metcalfe

Reflecting on the practice of storytelling, this practice insight explores how collaborations between scholars and practitioners can improve storytelling for science communication outcomes with publics. The case studies presented demonstrate the benefits of collaborative storytelling for inspiring publics, promoting understanding of science, and engaging publics more deliberatively in science. The projects show how collaboration between scholars and practitioners [in storytelling] can happen across a continuum of scholarship from evaluation and action research to more critical thinking perspectives. They also show how stories of possible futures and community efficacy can support greater engagement of publics in evidence-informed policymaking. Storytelling in collaborations between scholars and practitioners involves many activities: combining cultural and scientific understandings; making publics central to storytelling; equipping scientists to tell their own stories directly to publics; co-creating stories; and retelling collaborative success stories. Collaborative storytelling, as demonstrated in these case studies, may improve the efficacy of science communication practice as well as its scholarship.

Volume 18 • Issue 05 • 2019 • Special Issue: Stories in Science Communication, 2019

May 20, 2019 Article
Gender and science in animation: analysis of the Anima Mundi Festival films

by Gabriela Reznik and Luisa Massarani

We used content analysis to analyse the representation of female scientists in animated short films on gender and science, selected from the Anima Mundi Festival, over 21 annual editions. In these films, female scientists are featured as ‘intelligent’, ‘dominant’ and ‘well respected’, adult, white, wearing a lab coat or uniform and working in laboratories and fieldwork. We identified a reconfiguration of the gender stereotype in films in which the female character is about to gain space and visibility. We also analysed films whose sexist foundations in the relationship between scientists and their interlocutors reinforce the reproduction of sexist and heteronormative stereotypes.

Volume 18 • Issue 02 • 2019

Apr 04, 2018 Editorial
Branching out: new JCOM América Latina for dynamic science communication community

by Emma Weitkamp and Luisa Massarani

April marks a milestone in the history of JCOM, with the launch of new features for the International, English language journal alongside the launch of a sister journal, JCOM América Latina which will cater for the dynamic and fast growing Spanish and Portuguese speaking science communication community. Luisa Massarani, a long standing JCOM Editorial Board member, has led the development of JCOM América Latina and will act as the Editor for the new journal. JCOM and JCOM América Latina will work closely together, providing free, open access publishing for science communication research across the globe.

Volume 17 • Issue 02 • 2018

Nov 28, 2017 Book Review
Creative Research Communication — Theory and Practice

by Luisa Massarani

This article aims to present a critical analysis of the book entitled “Creative Research Communication ― Theory and Practice”, written by Clare Wilkinson and Emma Weitkamp (Manchester University Press, 2016). We aim to present the structure of the book, highlighting its strengths and successes. Although some chapters focus on the UK, the book offers a wide range of examples of practical activities for the communication of research of global interest and provides very useful tips. Ethical issues and the importance of evaluation, of how to do carry out such evaluation and dissemination, are also presented in an inspiring way. Well-written and objective, the book is a must-read for anyone who works, or aspires to work, in the field of public engagement with research.

Volume 16 • Issue 05 • 2017