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Filter by keyword: Science communication: theory and models

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Mar 28, 2022 Editorial
Participatory science communication for transformation

by Jenni Metcalfe, Toss Gascoigne, Fabien Medvecky and Ana Claudia Nepote

Participatory science communication featured in several sessions and individual papers at the 2021 online conference of the Public Communication of Science and Technology (PCST) Network. This coverage recognises the drive away from linear communication to more participatory forms of science communication. In this special edition we present practice insights, papers and essays that explore participatory science communication. These contributions explore definitions, processes and describe case-studies of participatory science communication which involve a variety of publics, from young school students to Indigenous groups to farmers. In this introductory editorial we reflect on the papers, describe the growth of a participatory approach as part of the continuing evolution of science communication; explore a definition for participatory science communication; and consider some of the key concepts and issues that emerged.

Volume 21 • Issue 02 • 2022 • Special Issue Participatory science communication for transformation (PCST2020+1)

Mar 28, 2022 Article
Comparing science communication theory with participatory practice: case study of the Australian Climate Champion Program

by Jenni Metcalfe

While short-term participatory science communication activities have been well researched, long-term programs have received scant attention. Analysing survey data and participant discussions, I investigated interactions between Australian farmers and scientists engaged in the Climate Champion Program (2009–2016). I compared their interactions to three theorised science communication models: deficit, dialogue and participatory. I found their interactions illustrated a mix of the characteristics of all three models. While farmers and scientists appeared to be motivated to interact by deficit and dialogue objectives, respectful and trusting relationships emerged from long-term participation, which was key to making deficit- and dialogue-style communication more effective.

Volume 21 • Issue 02 • 2022 • Special Issue Participatory science communication for transformation (PCST2020+1)

Mar 14, 2022 Article
Deconstructing citizen science: a framework on communication and interaction using the concept of roles

by Susanne Hecker and Monika Taddicken

Citizen science opens the scientific knowledge production process to societal actors. In this novel collaboration process, scientists and citizens alike face the challenge of new tasks and functions, eventually resulting in changing roles. Role theory provides a way of conceptualizing the roles that people take in communication and interaction. We use role theory to create a framework that identifies scientists' and citizens' tasks in citizen science projects, main aims of communication, spaces they interact in, and their roles — thus providing a structured way to capture communication and interaction in and about CS for further scientific reflection and practical application.

Volume 21 • Issue 01 • 2022

Dec 13, 2021 Article
Understanding the relationship between sharing personal anecdotes, warmth, curiosity, risk perception and mitigation in communicating the threat of climate change

by Reyhaneh Maktoufi

While most Americans believes in climate change, to elicit action, communicators should use strategies to convey risks. One strategy is to cognitively engage individuals by eliciting curiosity. Previous studies have shown that individuals with higher science curiosity are more likely to perceive the risk of climate change. This study uses scientists’ act of sharing personal anecdotes to elicit curiosity and examines the effect of scientist’s traits on risk perception. Results show that anecdotes do not affect any of the variables. However, there is a positive relationship between curiosity and risk perception, and between trust in scientists and risk perception.

Volume 20 • Issue 07 • 2021

Sep 22, 2021 Conference Review
Embracing the future through science communication: the inaugural "Mr. Science" Science Communication Conference in China

by Guoyan Wang, Hepeng Jia, Jingyi Han and Yuqin Yang

The inaugural "Mr. Science" Science Communication Conference was held in Suzhou, China on July 9, 2021. It was the largest Chinese conference on science communication study since the start of the 21st century. More than 260 scholars discussed the spirit and culture of science, science communication during the COVID-19 crisis, the public understanding of science, and the ethical aspects of science communication. The conference aimed to develop a system for researching science communication within China. This review outlines the content of the conference and summarizes the key trends in science communication research in China.

Volume 20 • Issue 05 • 2021

Sep 15, 2021 Article
Science communication training as information seeking and processing: a theoretical approach to training early-career scientists

by Heather Akin, Shelly Rodgers and Jack Schultz

This study examines early-career scientists' cognition, affect, and behaviors before, during, and after a series of science communication training workshops drawing from the Risk Information Seeking and Processing (RISP) and Theory of Planned Behavior theoretical models. We find correlations between engagement (throughout the training), self-reported knowledge and intention to apply their science communication skills. We discuss implications of these findings for science communication training, in particular that science communication behaviors and investment in skill development appear to be more dependent on attitudes and motivations cultivated during the training, rather than their attitudes and motivations coming in.

Volume 20 • Issue 05 • 2021

Sep 13, 2021 Book Review
A timely update to a classic text

by Emma Weitkamp

The third edition of Bucchi and Trench's classic handbook offers a contemporary look at science communication. First published over 10 years ago, this latest edition includes new chapters focusing on contemporary issues, such as mediatization, as well as addressing new trends in science communication, such as the move towards STEAM. The text offers a useful introduction to the diverse debates and issues facing science communication today.

Volume 20 • Issue 05 • 2021

Aug 23, 2021 Book Review
A look at the complex issues of science communication: the Routledge Handbook of Public Communication of Science and Technology

by Andrea Rubin

In the year of the PCST Conference that brings together scholars and experts in public communication of science, Routledge published the new edition of the Handbook of Public Communication of Science and Technology, edited by Massimiano Bucchi and Brian Trench. The book, in its third edition, seeks to update and define the field of study and application of science communication from both a theoretical and empirical point of view mostly in the light of the Covid-19 pandemic which undoubtedly represents an event of historical significance that cannot fail to question scholars on the medium and long-term effects.

Volume 20 • Issue 05 • 2021

Jul 26, 2021 Article
Silent science: a mixed-methods analysis of faculty engagement in science communication

by Taylor T. Ruth, Joy N. Rumble, Lisa K. Lundy, Sebastian Galindo, Hannah S. Carter and Kevin Folta

To address science literacy issues, university faculty have to engage in effective science communication. However, social pressures from peers, administration, or the public may silence their efforts. The purpose of this study was to understand the effect of the spiral of silence on faculty's engagement with science communication. A survey was distributed to a census of tenure-track faculty at the University of Florida [UF], and the findings did not support the spiral of silence was occurring. However, follow-up interviews revealed faculty did not perceive their peers to value science communication and were more concerned about how the public felt about their research and communication.

Volume 20 • Issue 04 • 2021

Jun 17, 2021 Practice Insight
Scaling training to support scientists to engage with the public in non-traditional venues

by Caitlin Weber, Sue Allen and Nalini M. Nadkarni

Public engagement with science activities need to be extended beyond traditional learning venues (e.g., museums, schools) to increase public access. Scientists are motivated to carry out this work; however, it is difficult to scale up training to support the implementation of engagement activities in non-traditional venues. Such training would need to be applicable to different engagement contexts, while avoiding a “one size fits all” approach. We describe the guiding principles, challenges, and design choices of a training program in the United States to support scientists in designing and implementing audience-specific engagement activities in a range of non-traditional venues.

Volume 20 • Issue 04 • 2021