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Filter by keyword: Science communication: theory and models

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Aug 05, 2019 Conference Review
WCSJ2019: scaling new heights in Switzerland

by Marina Joubert

At a time when science is perceived to be under attack and our planet is facing severe challenges, the role of science journalism in taking on these challenges was a key theme of the 11th World Conference of Science Journalists. But, while policymakers and science leaders are urging journalists to help restore public trust in science, science journalists are concerned about the future viability of their profession in the face of faltering business models in mainstream media.

Volume 18 • Issue 04 • 2019

Jul 01, 2019 Article
Touching the stars: improving NASA 3D printed data sets with blind and visually impaired audiences

by Kimberly Arcand, April Jubett, Megan Watzke, Sara Price, Kelly Williamson and Peter Edmonds

Astronomy has been an inherently visual area of science for millenia, yet a majority of its significant discoveries take place in wavelengths beyond human vision. There are many people, including those with low or no vision, who cannot participate fully in such discoveries if visual media is the primary communication mechanism. Numerous efforts have worked to address equity of accessibility to such knowledge sharing, such as through the creation of three-dimensional (3D) printed data sets. This paper describes progress made through technological and programmatic developments in tactile 3D models using NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory to improve access to data.

Volume 18 • Issue 04 • 2019

Jun 14, 2019 Article
How do think tanks qualify their expertise? Exploring the field of scientific policy advice in France

by Thomas Laux

This study explores the field of scientific policy advice in environmental and energy policies in France to gain insights into the role of think tanks. The field evolved along with the growth of think tanks. The think tanks refer to several orders of worth and combine them in their communication in order to qualify their expertise. The results of the study reveal that the think tanks have become more independent actors and that the field of scientific policy advice has gained autonomy. Both aspects indicate that the relationship between politics and expertise has gradually changed in France.

Volume 18 • Issue 03 • 2019 • Special Issue: Communication at the Intersection of Science and Politics, 2019

Jun 14, 2019 Essay
The conflation of motives of science communication — causes, consequences, remedies

by Peter Weingart and Marina Joubert

We explore and discuss the diverse motives that drive science communication, pointing out that political motives are the major driving force behind most science communication programmes including so-called public engagement with science with the result that educational and promotional objectives are blurred and science communication activities are rarely evaluated meaningfully. Since this conflation of motives of science communication and the gap between political rhetoric and science communication practice could threaten the credibility of science, we argue for the restoration of a crucial distinction between two types of science communication: educational/dialogic vs promotional/persuasive.

Volume 18 • Issue 03 • 2019 • Special Issue: Communication at the Intersection of Science and Politics, 2019

Mar 04, 2019 Article
Witnessing glaciers melt: climate change and transmedia storytelling

by Anita Lam and Matthew Tegelberg

The Extreme Ice Survey (EIS) is an exemplary case for examining how to effectively communicate scientific knowledge about climate change to the general public. Using textual and semiotic analysis, this article analyzes how EIS uses photography to produce demonstrative evidence of glacial retreat which, in turn, anchors a transmedia narrative about climate change. As both scientific and visual evidence, photographs have forensic value because they work within a process and narrative of witnessing. Therefore, we argue that the combination of photographic evidence with transmedia storytelling offers an effective approach for future scientific and environmental communication.

Volume 18 • Issue 02 • 2019

Nov 06, 2018 Book Review
Ethics and practice in science communication

by Clare Wilkinson

It can be argued that ethical considerations in science communication are a significantly overlooked area although these considerations are implicit in many ongoing academic debates within the field, and within the practical implications of work which is being both constructed and shared within the discipline. Priest, Goodwin and Dahlstrom's [2018] edited collection, ‘Ethics and Practice in Science Communication’, is therefore a significant step forwards in allowing for contemporary reflection on the ethical considerations currently influencing the field. In shining a light on some of the ethical questions currently concerning the field of science communication, this enjoyable and detailed selection of chapters draws together a number of key examples and authors, to begin to consider such ethical quandaries, as well as identifying spaces, which are primed for further ethical exploration in the future.

Volume 17 • Issue 04 • 2018

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

Sep 12, 2018 Book Review
Book review: The science communication challenge. Truth and disagreement in democratic knowledge societies

by Birte Faehnrich

The Science Communication Challenge by Gitte Meyer, a Danish science communication scholar with a previous career in science journalism, is a collection of essays on the interrelationships among science, society and politics in modern knowledge societies. The book is valuable as it contributes to the important debate on the “whys” (instead of the “hows”) of science communication and its (long term) impact on science and society. However, it does not present explicit solutions to the questions in focus but rather reads as a large patchwork of ideas, theories and concepts which require readers to have at least some basic knowledge.

Volume 17 • Issue 03 • 2018

Sep 10, 2018 Article
Structure and development of science communication research: co-citation analysis of a developing field

by Adrian Rauchfleisch and Mike S. Schäfer

Since the early 1990s, there has been a considerable increase in the number of scientific studies on science communication, and this increase has been accompanied by a diversification of the research field. This study focuses on one aspect of this development: it analyses how citation network structures within the field have developed over time, and whether science communication research shows signs of becoming a research field or a discipline in its own right. Employing a co-citation analysis of scholarly publications published between 1996 and 2015, it assesses to what extent a coherent communication network exists within science communication research. The results show a field with a diverse internal structure and clear internal changes over time which suggest an increasing emancipation of the field.

Volume 17 • Issue 03 • 2018