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Jun 10, 2022 Article
Roles, incentives, training and audiences for science communication: perspectives from female science communicators

by Clare Wilkinson, Elena Milani, Andy Ridgway and Emma Weitkamp

Both research and anecdote in science communication suggests that it is a field where women feel ‘at home’, with high numbers of women science communicators and students on training programmes, but why might this be the case? Using data gathered from a survey of 459 science communicators based in Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Serbia, Sweden and the U.K., we examine the perspectives of female science communicators, in terms of working practices, motivations and barriers to communicate.

Volume 21 • Issue 04 • 2022 • Special Issue: Responsible science communication across the globe

May 10, 2021 Article
Exploring the digital media ecology: insights from a study of healthy diets and climate change communication on digital and social media

by Emma Weitkamp, Elena Milani, Andy Ridgway and Clare Wilkinson

This study explores the types of actors visible in the digital science communication landscape in the Netherlands, Serbia and the U.K. Using the Koru model of science communication as a basis, we consider how science communicators craft their messages and which channels they are using to reach audiences. The study took as case studies the topics of climate change and healthy diets to enable comparison across countries, topics and platforms. These findings are compared with the results from a survey of over 200 science communication practitioners based in these countries. We find that although traditional media are challenged by the variety of different new entrants into the digital landscape, our results suggest that the media and journalists remain highly visible. In addition, our survey results suggest that many science communicators may struggle to gain traction in the crowded digital ecology, and in particular, that relatively few scientists and research institutions and universities are achieving a high profile in the public digital media ecology of science communication.

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

Feb 01, 2021 Commentary
“We had to be very clear that they weren't going to try to break into any of the cases”: what potential do ‘escape rooms’ offer as a science communication technique?

by Clare Wilkinson and Hannah Little

‘Escape rooms’ are a recent cultural phenomena, whereby a group of ‘players’, often friends or colleagues, are ‘locked’ in a room and must solve a series of clues, puzzles, or mysteries in order to ‘escape’. Escape rooms are increasingly appearing in a range of settings, including science centres and museums, libraries and university programmes, but what role can an escape room play in science communication? In this commentary, we explore the emerging literature on escape rooms as well as thoughts from a small number of escape room creators in the U.S. and U.K.

Volume 20 • Issue 01 • 2021

Feb 01, 2021 Commentary
Neglected spaces in science communication

by Clare Wilkinson

Many of the earliest drivers for improved scientific literacy and understanding were based on the assumption that science and technology is all around us, and yet there are some spaces and communities that are neglected in science communication contexts. In this brief comment, Clare Wilkinson introduces a series of ten commentaries, which further probe neglected spaces in science communication.

Volume 20 • Issue 01 • 2021

Sep 30, 2019 Commentary
What role can Athena SWAN play in gender equality and science communication?

by Clare Wilkinson

This essay discusses how gender-focused culture change initiatives developed for science (like Athena SWAN) might offer models for science communication. Such initiatives can seek to mobilise change amongst university departments and practices, but there are also potential pitfalls in such approaches. Using experiences in a department at UWE Bristol as a basis, the article will consider whether such schemes in science offer potential for science communication to reflect on its own gender imbalances.

Volume 18 • Issue 04 • 2019

Nov 06, 2018 Book Review
Ethics and practice in science communication

by Clare Wilkinson

It can be argued that ethical considerations in science communication are a significantly overlooked area although these considerations are implicit in many ongoing academic debates within the field, and within the practical implications of work which is being both constructed and shared within the discipline. Priest, Goodwin and Dahlstrom's [2018] edited collection, ‘Ethics and Practice in Science Communication’, is therefore a significant step forwards in allowing for contemporary reflection on the ethical considerations currently influencing the field. In shining a light on some of the ethical questions currently concerning the field of science communication, this enjoyable and detailed selection of chapters draws together a number of key examples and authors, to begin to consider such ethical quandaries, as well as identifying spaces, which are primed for further ethical exploration in the future.

Volume 17 • Issue 04 • 2018

Mar 20, 2009 Commentary
MSc Science Communication, Science Communication Unit, UWE, Bristol

by Clare Wilkinson, Karen Bultitude and Emma Weitkamp

The MSc in Science Communication offered by the University of the West of England is taught in short three day blocks, designed specifically to cater for both full and part time students wishing to combine work and study effectively. Started in 2004, the programme emphasises the development of practical skills as well as developing a wider understanding of the key issues facing science communicators today. With this in mind, workshops explore theory and practice, considering the potential of a range of creative, targeted and innovative opportunities to enable greater community participation in scientific issues.

Volume 8 • Issue 01 • 2009