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May 18, 2020 Article
Organizationally based citizen science: considerations for implementation

by Ashley A. Anderson, Elizabeth Williams, Marilee Long, Ellison Carter and John Volckens

This theoretical paper proposes a framework for how citizen science can be adapted to organizational contexts. Using an “input, process, output” approach, this model proposes organizational factors (e.g., communication channels and styles, and organizational structure) that should be considered when choosing among citizen science approaches (e.g., contributory, collaborative, co-created). The essay identifies possible outcomes for the individual, organization, and larger sector from employing a citizen science approach within an organizational setting.

Volume 19 • Issue 03 • 2020

Mar 16, 2020 Article
Decisions to choose genetically modified foods: how do people's perceptions of science and scientists affect their choices?

by Jiyoun Kim and Sumin Fang

This study explores the effects of food science perception on food decisions in the controversial case of genetically modified (GM) foods. We examine (1) how scientific consensus and scientific deference affect the public perception of GM foods; and (2) how perception and healthy eating interest influence people's actual food consumption decisions. We categorized our samples into four groups based on different risk/benefit perceptions of GM food: tradeoff, relaxed, skeptical, and uninterested in the process of further data analysis.

Volume 19 • Issue 02 • 2020

Dec 02, 2019 Article
Voices in health communication — experts and expert-roles in the German news coverage of multi resistant pathogens

by Matthias Wagner, Gwendolin Gurr and Miriam Siemon

When it comes to complex topics in the field of health and risk communication, experts are of high importance for the credibility of a news media report. This paper examines the use of experts and their roles in the news media coverage of multi-resistant pathogens by means of a quantitative content analysis of German print and online news. A cluster analysis of the expert statements identifies three different statement frames describing different expert roles. The results show manifest patterns of selected expert sources, which points to professionalized mechanisms of selecting expert sources for news media reports.

Volume 18 • Issue 06 • 2019

Jun 14, 2019 Article
The rise of skepticism in Spanish political and digital media contexts

by Lorena Cano-Orón, Isabel Mendoza and Carolina Moreno

Currently in Spain, there is a political and social debate over the use and sale of homeopathic products, which is promoted mainly by the skeptical movement. For the first time, this issue has become significant in political discourse. This study analyzes the role that homeopathy-related stories are playing in that political debate. We analyzed the viewpoints of headlines between 2015 and 2017 in eight digital dailies (n = 1,683), which published over 30 stories on homeopathy during the three-year study period. The results indicated that the stance on therapy's lack of scientific evidence gained ground during the period studied.

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

Sep 19, 2018 Conference Review
Learning about dentistry: enacting problems at the Wellcome Collection exhibition ‘Teeth’

by Claire Dungey and Neil Stephens

We review how the Wellcome Collection exhibition ‘Teeth’ enacts meanings from an educational anthropology and Science and Technology Studies perspective. The exhibition tells the history of dental science. It starts with accounts of the painful procedures and social inequalities of early oral healthcare. As it moves towards the present day it shows improved scientific knowledge, tools and public health promotion, and closes with current sophisticated technologies and practices. However it underrepresents contemporary social inequalities. We conclude that science communication exhibition curators should strive to represent the problems of today as well as those of the past.

Volume 17 • Issue 03 • 2018

Jul 20, 2017 Article
Reading dermatology in the Victorian newspaper. The performance of medical vocabulary in The Times correspondence column

by Diana Garrisi

This contribution concerns the role of the Victorian newspaper correspondence column in advancing knowledge of dermatology in relation to corporal punishment. It explores The Times' coverage of an inquest into the death by flogging of a British soldier. I argue that on the one hand, The Times participated in the debate about flogging in the army by bringing forward skin anatomy as an argument against corporal punishment. On the other hand, the paper might have used the publication of letters with medical content as a marketing strategy to maintain its authority and credibility against accusations of sensationalism.

Volume 16 • Issue 03 • 2017 • Special Issue: History of Science Communication, 2017

Jul 20, 2017 Article
The communication of psychiatry in Brazilian press (1930–1940)

by Carolina Carvalho, Cátia Mathias and Sérgio Marcondes

As a case study, we analyze an article of the psychiatrist Henrique Roxo published in 1942 in two publications directed to different publics. The communication of science was intended as part of Brazil's modernizing project of the epoch. Roxo's case reveals that the language used by science communicators, although sometimes of difficult apprehension, was part of an strategy of acknowledgment of the medical authority for the diagnosis and treatment of the mental illnesses.

Volume 16 • Issue 03 • 2017 • Special Issue: History of Science Communication, 2017

Jul 20, 2017 Article
Vaccination communication strategies: What have we learned, and lost, in 200 years?

by Merryn McKinnon and Lindy A. Orthia

This study compares Australian government vaccination campaigns from two very different time periods, the early nineteenth century (1803–24) and the early twenty-first (2016). It explores the modes of rhetoric and frames that government officials used in each period to encourage parents to vaccinate their children. The analysis shows that modern campaigns rely primarily on scientific fact, whereas 200 years ago personal stories and emotional appeals were more common. We argue that a return to the old ways may be needed to address vaccine hesitancy around the world.

Volume 16 • Issue 03 • 2017 • Special Issue: History of Science Communication, 2017

Apr 20, 2016 Article
Crowdsourcing the Human Gut. Is crowdsourcing also 'citizen science'?

by Lorenzo Del Savio, Barbara Prainsack and Alena Buyx

The participation of non-professionally trained people in so-called citizen science (CS) projects is a much discussed topic at the moment. Frequently, however, the contribution of citizens is limited to only a few narrow tasks. Focusing on an initiative dedicated to the study of the human microbiome, this paper describes such a case where citizen participation is limited to the provision of funding, samples, and personal data. Researchers opted for a crowdsourced approaches because other forms of funding and recruitment did not seem feasible. We argue that despite the narrow understanding of participation in the context of some CS projects, they can address some of the democratic concerns related to scientific knowledge creation. For example, CS and crowdsourcing can help to foster dialogue between researchers and publics, and increase the influence of citizens on research agenda setting.

Volume 15 • Issue 03 • 2016 • Special Issue: Citizen Science, Part II, 2016

Mar 04, 2016 Article
Media portrayal of non-invasive prenatal testing: a missing ethical dimension

by Kalina Kamenova, Vardit Ravitsky, Spencer McMullin and Timothy Caulfield

Non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) is an emerging technology for detecting chromosomal disorders in the fetus and mass media may have an impact on shaping the public understanding of its promise and challenges. We conducted a content analysis of 173 news reports to examine how NIPT was portrayed in English-language media sources between January 1 and December 31, 2013. Our analysis has shown that media emphasized the benefits and readiness of the technology, while overlooking uncertainty associated with its clinical use. Ethical concerns were rarely addressed in the news stories, which points to an important dimension missing in the media discourse.

Volume 15 • Issue 02 • 2016