All author's publications are listed below.
In this essay the authors reflect on some recent trends in science communication research, celebrating it as an inherently interdisciplinary endeavour. Some current tendencies in science communication are more limiting, however: they present theoretical and strategic prescriptions that do not adquately reflect the variety and cultural diversity of science communication internationally. Rethinking science communication in the context of such diverse practices and cultural reorientations, the authors revise some of their own views and revisit notions of communication as conversation to propose an inclusive definition of science communication as the social conversation around science.
This essay examines several distinct roles universities play in science communication, with particular reference to professionalisation in the field. It identifies the ways in which universities have facilitated, even driven, that continuing process. But it also notes the potential and actual contradictions between some of the roles of universities, reflecting current developments in higher education across many different contexts.
The four essays in this Commentary examine contributions of universities to science communication's development but also challenges in consolidating those efforts.
The demand for evaluation of science communication practices and the number and variety of such evaluations are all growing. But it is not clear what evaluation tells us - or even what it can tell us about the overall impacts of the now-global spread of science communication initiatives. On the other hand, well-designed evaluation of particular activities can support innovative and improved practices.
A new editorial board is guiding JCOM through a period of change and here opens out the discussion on what JCOM has become and what it could or should become in the future. The journal's readers are invited to make their contributions.
The PCST (Public Communication of Science and Technology) conference, held every two years, offers an opportunity to chart the progress and direction of the international science communication community. The most recent conference, in Firenze, gave indications of a growing interest in science communication as cultural practice.
Several publications have sought to define the field of science communication and review current issues and recent research. But the status of science communication is uncertain in disciplinary terms. This commentary considers two dimensions of the status of discipline as they apply to science communication – the clarity with which the field is defined and the level of development of theories to guide formal studies. It argues that further theoretical development is needed to support science communication’s full emergence as a discipline.
The Masters (MSc) in Science Communication at Dublin City University (Ireland) draws on expertise from several disciplines in human and physical sciences. The programme takes a broad view of communication that includes the various kinds of interaction between institutions of science and of society, as well as the diverse means of exchanging information and ideas. Nearly 200 students from a wide variety of backgrounds have completed the programme since its start in 1996, and they work in many different types of employment, from information and outreach services, to science centres, to publishing and journalism. Through the programme, and in the dissertation in particular, students are encouraged to reflect critically on the place and performance of science in society, and on relations between the cultures of natural sciences and of humanities and social sciences.