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Jan 17, 2023 Article
`Pandem-icons' — exploring the characteristics of highly visible scientists during the Covid-19 pandemic

by Marina Joubert, Lars Guenther, Jenni Metcalfe, Michelle Riedlinger, Anwesha Chakraborty, Toss Gascoigne, Bernard Schiele, Ayelet Baram-Tsabari, Dmitry Malkov, Eliana Fattorini, Gema Revuelta, Germana Barata, Jan Riise, Justin T. Schröder, Maja Horst, Margaret Kaseje, Marnell Kirsten, Martin W. Bauer, Massimiano Bucchi, Natália Flores, Orli Wolfson and Tingjie Chen

The Covid-19 pandemic escalated demand for scientific explanations and guidance, creating opportunities for scientists to become publicly visible. In this study, we compared characteristics of visible scientists during the first year of the Covid-19 pandemic (January to December 2020) across 16 countries. We find that the scientists who became visible largely matched socio-cultural criteria that have characterised visible scientists in the past (e.g., age, gender, credibility, public image, involvement in controversies). However, there were limited tendencies that scientists commented outside their areas of expertise. We conclude that the unusual circumstances created by Covid-19 did not change the phenomenon of visible scientists in significant ways.

Volume 22 • Issue 01 • 2023

Nov 06, 2022 Commentary
Have we ever been satisfied with Science Communication? Continuity and change

by Massimiano Bucchi

The argument that we live in times of great change is probably a common thread in the reflection on science communication in most historical phases and contexts. Have there ever been periods of continuity in science communication, in which actors and scholars did not have the perception of substantial transformations and required change? Or to put it more provocatively: have we ever been satisfied with science communication as it was? And if not, why so? One possible, and apparently paradoxical, conclusion is that the focus on change is itself an element of continuity in the history of science communication.

Volume 21 • Issue 07 • 2022

May 09, 2021 Essay
Rethinking science communication as the social conversation around science

by Massimiano Bucchi and Brian Trench

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.

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

Jul 23, 2015 Essay
“Queue up, you stupid!”: communicating about technology problems. An exploratory study of warning messages posted on machines in public places

by Beatrice Arbulla and Massimiano Bucchi

Communication about technology has long been neglected within the field of science and technology communication. This visual exploratory study focuses on how users can communicate with and about technology in public places through warning signs posted on technological devices.
Three broad categories of messages have been identified: bad design, malfunctioning and disciplining users. By analyzing examples within each category, we suggest that studying these communicative situations can be a key to understanding how users are engaged in continuous, elaborate and sometimes even conflicting framing of technological devices (e.g. with regard to their purpose, appropriate uses, shifting boundaries between functioning/malfunctioning); how such framing, in turn, can be used to readjust/realign social behavior and organizational routines.

Volume 14 • Issue 03 • 2015

Sep 20, 2010 Commentary
Science communication, an emerging discipline

by Brian Trench and Massimiano Bucchi

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.

Volume 9 • Issue 03 • 2010