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Feb 26, 2023 Book Review
A Challenge for Media and Communication Studies: the Covid-19 Pandemic

by Rod Lamberts

Katarzyna Kopecka-Piech and Bartłomiej Łódzki’s edited volume, The Covid-19 Pandemic as a Challenge for Media and Communication Studies, could be of great utility to science communication scholars and teachers. The studies with contained within it address two overarching research questions. First, how have media and communication reality changed during the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic in Europe? Second, how were media and communication studied effectively through that period? The volume features 17 individual studies calling on myriad methods and case examples. This diversity of approaches allows the editors to also address an important, implicit third question. In essence: what has it been like to conduct worthwhile, meaningful, and robust research under such unusual and extreme global circumstances? Each chapter is thorough, detailed and of a high technical standard. This is a book that would likely best serve experienced readers more than novices. The entire compendium bears clear witness to the dynamic nature of social research playing out against a context of enormous global instability.

Volume 22 • Issue 01 • 2023

Feb 19, 2023 Article
“There really is a lot of shared understanding, but there are also differences”: identity configurations in science communicators' professional identity

by Liliann Fischer and Hannah Schmid-Petri

Science communication is a relatively new field of practice, shaped by a diverse group of professional science communicators and the way they make sense of their work. A distinguishing feature of these professional science communicators is the organisational context they work in. Based on a typology from an organisational theory framework, this study explores the perspectives of 15 German science communicators through qualitative interviews. It seems that while they tend to draw on a common set of building blocks, they use them to construct individual professional identity configurations partly influenced by their organisational context.

Volume 22 • Issue 01 • 2023

Dec 13, 2022 Book Review
Put to the test: science communication in crisis situations

by Lars Guenther

Risk and crisis situations can put science communication to the test, but systematic approaches to science communication in relation to crisis communication are still missing. “Science communication in times of crisis”, edited by Pascal Hohaus and published in 2022, is about this relationship. The book review provides an overview, a summary, and a short criticism of this edited volume. As will be outlined, while the book is a valuable contribution to the field, its overall aims could have been more strongly tied together.

Volume 21 • Issue 07 • 2022

Nov 29, 2022 Article
Visualizing the structure and development of climate change communication research

by Chelsea R. Canon, Douglas P. Boyle and Stephanie A. McAfee

To better understand the structure, development, and function of the climate change communication knowledge domain, we performed time-evolving bibliometric mapping and topic modeling on 2,995 climate change communication publications from Web of Science. Structural and visual representations of scholarship are useful for identifying areas of opportunity and coordinating effort in interdisciplinary and action-oriented knowledge domains. Our analysis reveals a cohesive and dense yet ossified knowledge structure which suggests that while a systems approach is being applied in climate communication, there is a need to explore more constitutive strategies for the communication of climate change.

Volume 21 • Issue 07 • 2022

Nov 27, 2022 Essay
Communicating science through competing logics and a science-art lens

by Anna Jonsson, Axel Brechensbauer and Maria Grafström

This essay takes a starting point in the well-known tension between the media logic and the scientific logic and the challenges when communicating science in a mediatized society. Building on the experience of engaging in research comics, both as a method for communicating science and a creative example of a meeting between science and art, we introduce a framework — a pedagogical tool — for how science communication can be understood through the two competing logics. We contribute to literature about the balancing act of being a ‘legitimate expert’ and a ‘visible scientist’, and suggest that the meeting between science and art can be understood as a lens for how to communicate science that goes beyond the deficit model.

Volume 21 • Issue 07 • 2022

Nov 22, 2022 Conference Review
Challenges and opportunities for science communication in a post-COVID world: the IAMCR 2022 Suzhou Pre-conference

by Ruifen Zhang

Aiming to address various fundamental questions regarding science communication solutions to a polarized post-COVID-19 world, the IAMCR 2022 Suzhou Pre-conference was held from 8 to 10 July 2022. More than 300 delegates gathered online to discuss a variety of topics related to science communication and public engagement with science in a post-COVID-19 world. With its focus on China, alongside the involvement of leading scholars from around the world, the conference provided an opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of the factors that shape science communication, and societal responses to science, in different country contexts.

Volume 21 • Issue 07 • 2022

Nov 20, 2022 Article
I Am a Scientist... Ask Me Anything: explicating the role of past behavioral attitudes on scientists' future public engagement intentions

by Austin Y. Hubner and Robert Bond

There is growing pressure within the scientific community for scientists to participate in public engagement of science (PES) activities. As such, science communication scholars have worked to identify factors that predict a scientist's intention to participate in PES activities. One factor that has not been explicated is the role of experience performing PES activities in the past on one's future behavioral intentions. Using an augmented theory of planned behavior, we examine how one's experience participating in a question-and-answer forum on the popular website Reddit affected scientists' willingness to participate in a future PES activity.

Volume 21 • Issue 07 • 2022

Nov 06, 2022 Commentary
Science communication: a messy conundrum of practice, research and theory

by Jenni Metcalfe

Theoretical perspectives of science communication were initially driven by practice, which in turn have influenced practice and further science communication scholarship. The practice of science communication includes a variety of quite diverse roles. Likewise, the scholarship of science communication draws upon a mix of disciplines. I argue that the apparent messiness of science communication scholarship and practice is also its wealth. If blame can be avoided in developing and applying science communication models, and if the coexistence of all science communication models can be embraced then both the scholarship and practice of science communication is likely to be more effective.

Volume 21 • Issue 07 • 2022

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

Nov 06, 2022 Commentary
Citizen science communication and engagement: a growing concern for researchers and practitioners

by Susanne Hecker

Anniversaries provide great opportunities to celebrate achievements, to look into the future, and to do some self-reflection. I have the honour of doing so in a specific field of science communication that I’m familiar with: the field of citizen science communication, especially with a European focus. I hope this commentary prompts others who are experts in their regions of the world to also reflect on the past and the future for this growing field.

Volume 21 • Issue 07 • 2022