Publications including this keyword are listed below.
In this essay the authors reflect on some recent trends in science communication research, celebrating it as an inherently interdisciplinary endeavour. Some current tendencies in science communication are more limiting, however: they present theoretical and strategic prescriptions that do not adquately reflect the variety and cultural diversity of science communication internationally. Rethinking science communication in the context of such diverse practices and cultural reorientations, the authors revise some of their own views and revisit notions of communication as conversation to propose an inclusive definition of science communication as the social conversation around science.
This article contributes to reflective practice amongst scientists who engage with citizens in the digital public sphere, by exploring the scientists' experiences and underlying perspectives on their role repertoires in online science-society interactions. Semi-structured interviews were held with 26 European scientists to investigate their focus and contribution in boundary interactions, perspective on appropriate model of science communication, and activities, outputs and addressees in the digital public sphere — together comprising a role repertoire. The intended role of scientists often did not match with their deployed repertoire in online interactions with citizens. Participants were left with the feeling that the digital public sphere provides hollow interactions, devaluates scientific expertise or even represents a hostile environment. In order to capitalise on the promise of the digital public sphere for constructive interactions with a diverse public, a reflective practice is needed that aligns scientists' intended contribution to science-society interactions with the scientists' perspective and deployed online repertoires.
In this essay, we explore what happens when science meets comic art and how such meeting offers an opportunity to rethink science communication. We base our discussion on our own experience, as research scholars, of engaging in a collaboration with a comic artist. Three key reflections are developed: how comic art may help to (1) conceptualize ideas in an early research phase, (2) clarify the main argument by making the (un)written word visible; and (3) communicate science with an open end. These aspects contribute to an increased understanding of science communication in both research and society.
We lack a good framework to characterize media-related adaptations of researchers. This paper explores Estonian scientists visible in the media to propose five dimensions to characterize the degree of mediatization of a researcher, and describes two basic types of visible scientists. Representatives of one type (‘adapters to media logic’) are able to explain the project simply and engagingly in the media, while those of the second type (‘adopters of media logic’) proactively create media interactions and manage them to achieve strategic aims. The results show how individual actors translate communication objectives into media practices, explaining variabilities in scientists' media presence.
In this commentary we are concerned with what mainstream science communication has neglected through cultural narrowness and ambient racism: other practitioners, missing audiences, unvalued knowledge, unrecognised practices. We explore examples from First Nations Peoples in the lands now known as Australia, from Griots in West Africa and from People's Science Movements in India to help us reimagine science communication. To develop meaningfully inclusive approaches to science communication, we argue there is an urgent need for the ‘mainstream’ to recognise, value and learn from science communication practices that are all too often seen as at ‘the margins’ of this field.
Many people are under-served by existing informal science learning (ISL) provisions and under-represented in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics/Medicine) study choices and careers. This paper reflects upon SMASHfestUK which was established, as both a STEAM festival and research platform, to explore methods and approaches for lowering the barriers to engagement with ISL in marginalised communities. To do this SMASHfestUK located its events in the heart of communities and worked with these communities to create those events. This paper tells their story through the voices of participating communities.
The medical arena often encounters ‘taboo’ topics. These appear especially prevalent in women's health conditions, such as menstruation and menopause. Taboos are exacerbated by medical uncertainty, complex jargon, and patients' misunderstanding of the human anatomy — impacting patients' ability to actively participate in a shared decision-making process with their doctor. In this commentary, we look at one example of a medical procedure where taboo topics pose a number of challenges in doctor-patient communication — hysterectomy. We explore whether science communication can address these challenges, as well as contribute and collaborate in other medical scenarios, thereby benefiting both disciplines, and ultimately, patients.
Stories are fundamental to human history, culture and development. Immersive theatre has created a landscape where participants have agency within stories, and within this landscape the concept of narrative transportation provides a framework where change within stories creates change in real life. “Space Plague” is a co-designed, fully immersive theatrical experience for young people and families about a fictional pandemic. It was developed using community-based participatory action research (CBPAR) employing a novel model for engaging underserved and under-represented audiences, “SCENE”. Results confirmed that indications of narrative transportation effects were achieved, demonstrating enhanced learning and understanding alongside changing attitudes and indicated positive change when negotiating the COVID-19 crisis.
This study mainly explores the communication preferences of the public; their level of trust in the government; and the factors affecting their risk/crisis perception amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The key findings —derived from the data collected through an online survey and analysis using descriptive statistics, cross-tabulations, and Structural Equation Modeling (SEM), provide insights on how Local Government Units (LGUs) can improve their risk/crisis communication in this current health crisis. Among the key takeaways include the use of social media platforms, like Facebook, and native/local language for effective risk/crisis communication which may, consequently, foster trust building between the LGUs and the public.
‘Alternative’ and ‘activist’ are words with meanings strongly influenced by the social context of their use. Both words refer to concepts, things or people that stand in opposition to other concepts, things and people that are often taken for granted, and not elucidated. In science communication studies, ‘science’ is often an unelucidated concept. Indeed, in recent history, efforts within academia to map the perspectives on science that we might explore with the public have proven fractious, to say the least. In everyday science communication practice, however, we can readily see that there are many differing perspectives on science (and its alternatives) and on how, as the activists urge, it should (or should not) be deployed. This commentary encourages a symmetrical approach to understanding ‘alternative’ and ‘activist’ in the context of science communication, which has the potential to bring out a range of perspectives and provide a context for democratic engagement.