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Mar 21, 2013 Commentary
Community and research

by Carmelo Polino

JCOM is eleven years old, and this is certainly a reason to celebrate. The journal has been a tribune where we could observe how geographical and institutional  frontiers of science communication (SC) have been expanded. As open access publication, JCOM has played a key important role to diffuse and make visible  the research results for all. This is relevant for many institutions and researchers in Latin America due to the difficulties for paying to access to the papers  published by the international scientific journals. The journal has made a relevant contribution to consolidation of the field of SC. Thinking on the future, JCOM  may stimulate a global debate on theoretical perspectives about SC, and devote special issues to describe different regional contexts (India and East Asia;  Latin America; Africa; or East Europe. The journal also may promote papers, special issues or specific discussions on SC and social theory.

Volume 12 • Issue 01 • 2013

Jun 21, 2012 Article
From the laboratory to prime time: science coverage in the main Brazilian TV newscast

by Marina Ramalho, Carmelo Polino and Luisa Massarani

We analyse the science and technology news reports covered by the Jornal Nacional, the Brazilian newscast with the largest audience, which is broadcast at prime time on a free-to-air channel. The constructed week methodology was used to compose a sample of 72 newscasts, representative of an entire year (from April 2009 to March 2010): 77 science and technology news reports were thus identified, occupying an average of 7.3% of the newscast's daily broadcasting time, and therefore giving evidence that such matters belong on the JN's agenda. Content analysis has enabled us to observe the following: most reports were focused on announcing research results; the main fields dealt with were medical science and health; the coverage of national research projects ranked highest; researchers and scientific institutes represented the main sources of the news items; scientists were mostly shown in their offices, and as far as interviews are concerned female scientists were a minority. The approach to science was more positive than negative and controversial aspects were scarcely explored.

Volume 11 • Issue 02 • 2012

Sep 21, 2004 Focus
The wise and the ignorant, or a dangerous distinction for Latin America

by Carmelo Polino

Never have there been so much science and so much technology on so many sides as now. The expansion of scientific information in the social sphere is frankly impressive. In newspapers and movies, on television and radio, scientific ideas circulate freely every day of the week. Science is in cell phones, shampoo, compact discs, Olympic athletes' clothing, food, perfumes, and in so many places that trying to enumerate them would be insane. After all, why should it be particularly strange to speak of science and technology if scientific thought finally molds our deepest fibers? Today's society, developed or not, lives immersed in a scientific and technological culture which guides the course of the most fundamental events. Even though, of course, the common sense obliges us to admit that the majority of us are not fully conscious of its reach and consequences. Perhaps this helps to understand why we still feel a certain shame when, in a social gathering, we comment that our profession consists of spreading science or analyzing the ways in which it circulates and its repercussions in the public opinion. It may be that we live with the fear that someone will look at us strangely and with disbelief and ask us to explain what scientific communication or the social studies of science consist of or, worse yet, that we find ourselves in the embarrassing situation of rehearsing an answer to justify the importance of thinking about science in daily life.

Volume 3 • Issue 03 • 2004