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Oct 01, 2018 Article
Revisiting public debate on Genetic Modification and Genetically Modified Organisms. Explanations for contemporary Dutch public attitudes

by Lucien Hanssen, Anne Dijkstra, Susanne Sleenhoff, Lynn Frewer and Jan M. Gutteling

Genetic Modification (GM) has been a topic of public debates during the 1990s and 2000s. In this paper we explore the relative importance of two hypothesized explanations for these controversies: (i) people's general attitude toward science and technology and (ii) their trust in governance, in GM actors, and in GM regulations, in explaining the Dutch public's Attitude toward GM applications, and in addition to that, the public's GM Information seeking behaviour. This will be conducted through the application of representative survey methodology. The results indicate that Attitudes toward GM applications are best predicted by both the attitude toward science and technology and three trust measures. GM information seeking is predicted by gender and educational level, as well as attitude toward science and technology, trust in organisations and trust in regulations (negative). Overall, psychological variables seem better predictors than demographics. Implications for future research on information seeking behaviour are discussed.

Volume 17 • Issue 04 • 2018

Jan 23, 2017 Article
Analysing Dutch Science Cafés to better understand the science-society relationship

by Anne Dijkstra

Science cafés offer a place for information and discussion for all who are interested in science and its broader implications for society. In this paper, science cafés are explored as a means of informal science dialogue in order to gain more understanding of the science-society relationship. Perspectives of visitors, organisers and moderators of science cafés were analysed. Findings show that science cafés stimulate discussion and engagement via informal learning processes. Visitors come to broaden their knowledge in an informal ambiance. Organisers and moderators hope to enhance understanding of science and confidence of people to participate in debates.

Volume 16 • Issue 01 • 2017

May 07, 2015 Article
The science-media interaction in biomedical research in the Netherlands. Opinions of scientists and journalists on the science-media relationship

by Anne Dijkstra, Maaike M. Roefs and Constance H.C. Drossaert

Scientists’ participation in science communication and public engagement activities is considered important and a duty. However, in particular, the science-media relationship has not been studied frequently. In this paper, we present findings from interviews with both scientists and journalists which were guided by the Theory of Planned Behavior. Results show that different behavioural, normative and control beliefs underlie scientists’ and journalists’ participation in science-media interactions. Both groups are positive about science-media interactions, but scientists perceive various disadvantages in this relationship while journalists perceive mainly practical barriers. Enhancing mutual understanding and further research is suggested.

Volume 14 • Issue 02 • 2015