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Sep 22, 2014 Commentary
Research institutions: neither doing science communication nor promoting ‘public’ relations

by Michel Claessens

In this commentary I explain why research institutions are neither doing science communication nor developing ‘public’ relations in the proper sense. Their activities are rather a mix of different things, serving various purposes and targets. However, dealing with PCST, their main responsibilities [should] include: promoting genuine communication and dialogue, being open and accessible to the public, providing high quality scientific information, ensuring good internal communication and educating their scientific staff.

Volume 13 • Issue 03 • 2014

Sep 21, 2010 Commentary
Is science communication its own field?

by Toss Gascoigne, Donghong Cheng, Michel Claessens, Jenni Metcalfe, Bernard Schiele and Shunke Shi

The present comment examines to what extent science communication has attained the status of an academic discipline and a distinct research field, as opposed to the common view that science communication is merely a sub-discipline of media studies, sociology of science or history of science. Against this background, the authors of this comment chart the progress science communication has made as an emerging subject over the last 50 years in terms of a number of measures. Although discussions are still ongoing about the elements that must be present to constitute a legitimate disciplinary field, we show here that science communication meets four key elements that constitute an analytical framework to classify academic disciplines: the presence of a community; a history of inquiry; a mode of inquiry that defines how data is collected; and the existence of a communications network.

Volume 9 • Issue 03 • 2010