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May 10, 2021 Article
Public online engagement with science information: on the road to a theoretical framework and a future research agenda

by Monika Taddicken and Nicole Krämer

Internet technologies and specifically social media have drastically changed science communication. The public no longer merely consume science-related information but participate (for example, by rating and disseminating) and generate their own content. Likewise, scientists are no longer dependent on journalists as gatekeepers to spreading relevant information. This paper identifies and reflects on relevant theoretical strands that help to inform theoretical frameworks and research agendas. Therefore, we discuss the technological structures and resulting affordances, a new knowledge order and its actors, as well as trust and rationality as important constructs.

Volume 20 • Issue 03 • 2021 • Special Issue: Re-examining Science Communication: models, perspectives, institutions, 2021