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267 publications found

Jul 08, 2024 Article
Exploring the behavioral mechanisms of Chinese scientists' public engagement with science based on an integrative model

by Yang Li and Lijun Zhu

Based on self-determination theory and the theory of planned behavior, this study explored the predictors and behavioral mechanisms associated with Chinese scientists' public engagement with science. The results indicated that scientists' participation was associated with their levels of perceived autonomy, their attitudes toward participation and the media, subjective norms, perceived policies, their own efficacy, specific facilitating conditions, habits related to communication, and their willingness to engage. Under different levels of autonomy, these indicators had different association with scientists' willingness to engage and their reported participation in science communication activities. As levels of controlled motivation (or external requirement to communicate) increased, more negative effects related to willingness to participate or self-reported participation were identified, and amotivation (a lack of motivation) had a direct negative association with participation. The theoretical and practical implications of these findings are discussed.

Volume 23 • Issue 05 • 2024

Jul 01, 2024 Article
Brazilian National Science and Technology Week: a case study on engagement behaviors and impacts on the public

by Wilmo Ernesto Francisco Junior

This practice insight describes a case study in which structured observation and questionnaires (for visitors and presenters) were combined to investigate a public science event during Brazilian National Science and Technology Week (NSTW) in 2019. A very large proportion of participants (68.6% of visitors and 25 of the 31 presenters) had been unaware of the NSTW. Among those visitors who showed initial engagement, more than half progressed towards more effective engagement behaviors. The relaxed atmosphere favored the public's participation. Activities in generic locations in less favored areas are relevant to reach out to a diverse audience. Further research is recommended for critical assessment of similar events.

Volume 23 • Issue 05 • 2024

Jun 17, 2024 Article
Housing activists' science communication: online practices as contextual and reflexive

by Andrea Schikowitz and Sarah R. Davies

Based on an understanding of science communication as `social conversation about science', in this paper we explore how technoscientific knowledge is communicated through housing activists' use of online media. We analyse collaborative housing groups in Vienna and find that their online communication practices are contextual and reflexive: technoscientific knowledges are always contextualised through the activists' political issues, while the activists constantly reflect on and negotiate their means and style of communication. The case both offers insights into the diverse ways and sites in which public sense-making about science takes place, and inspiration for other forms of science communication.

Volume 23 • Issue 05 • 2024

Jun 03, 2024 Essay
Fugitive publics: sex, sexuality, and science communication

by Chase Ledin

This article attends to the absences and silences of sexual identity and knowledge in science communication scholarship. It locates identitarian debates within this scholarship and utilises queer theory to encourage a shift towards a post-identitarian approach to conceptualising sex (as a social act) in science communication. In this way, this article advocates for a queer science communication that critically examines normative identities, practices, institutions, and policies, and makes room for subjugated knowledges within science communication theory and practice.

Volume 23 • Issue 04 • 2024 • Special Issue: Science communication for social justice

Jun 03, 2024 Essay
Clashing epistemologies and contrasting injustice: an Aotearoa/ New Zealand case

by Marie McEntee, Mark Harvey and Fabien Medvecky

How, as researchers, do we recognise and address the implicit biases when engaging across multiple knowledge ecologies. In this paper, we consider the way historical and epistemic justice and injustice plays into our knowledge making when dealing with a specific issue: forest biosecurity. Specifically, we focus on the Aotearoa New Zealand context where knowledge making has been, and still is, dominated by a western paradigm, but where there is increasing discussion on mātauranga Māori (Māori knowledge) as a valid and valuable form of knowing. Drawing on the experiences of a transdisciplinary research programme that sought to examine the human dimensions of biosecurity aspects of the plant pathogens kauri dieback and myrtle rust, we approach our original question using the theoretical concept of epistemic injustice and draw on our experiences as a way to highlight instances and forms of epistemic injustice in the science-society relationship. We argue that the division of epistemic labour (into fields, disciplines, etc), and the ranking and assigning of relative epistemic credibility based on this division is a fundamental part of the western knowledge ecology which creates the necessary conditions for specific and potent forms of epistemic injustice. We contrast this by discussing how other knowledge ecologies, specifically mātauranga Māori, comfortably engages with a variety of knowledge and knowers and discuss the possibilities other knowledge ecologies offer.

Volume 23 • Issue 04 • 2024 • Special Issue: Science communication for social justice

Apr 02, 2024 Practice Insight
Using science communication research to practice iterative engagement in collaborative nutrient management

by Katherine Canfield and Casey Chatelain

Thoughtful science communication is essential for the success of collaborative, transdisciplinary environmental research. We present an innovative evaluation of a four-year pilot project that took a highly engaged and collaborative approach to managing excess nutrients in the Cape Cod region of Massachusetts, USA. The evaluation approach included mid- and end-of-project interviews with researchers and project partners and a reflection from the lead science communication researcher. We found that an effective science communication evaluation needs to be (1) adaptive, (2) multistage, (3) holistic and objective-based, and (4) democratic and reflexive. Results demonstrate that formative and end-of-project science communication evaluation of research projects lead to improved engagement that better meets all collaborators' needs.

Volume 23 • Issue 03 • 2024

Mar 25, 2024 Editorial
Connecting science communication research and practice: challenges and ways forward

by Liliann Fischer, Germana Barata, Andreas M. Scheu and Ricarda Ziegler

Science communication is a thriving field that is vitally important to confront and overcome current societal challenges. To make science communication effective, science communication research and practice need to come together and share knowledge and experiences. However, their collaboration is hampered by a variety of obstacles on both sides, ranging from lack of time to lack of incentives and awareness. In this Special Issue we give space to authors from a wide range of backgrounds to reflect on the relationship between science communication research and practice and inspire the field with their insights and learnings.

Volume 23 • Issue 02 • 2024 • Special Issue: Connecting science communication research and practice: challenges and ways forward

Mar 25, 2024 Essay
Broadening adult engagement and education in science cafés: lessons from an STS — science communication boundary spanning experiment

by Karen A. Rader and CJ Gibbs

This essay describes and reflects on a collaboration between a university Science & Technology Studies (STS) educator and a community science café organizer. Our partnership was designed to address two challenges: how to encourage diversity and inclusion in science café audiences and how to create assessments for broader ‘science in society’ content delivered to adult café learners. We used focus groups to develop STS learning constructs and do community engagement needs assessments. We describe the resultant café series development and other outcomes of our cross-domain work in STS, science communication, and science education. We conclude with observations about the power of collaborative storytelling and make general recommendations for how practitioners and scholars can address the described challenges in ways that might ease future collaborations.

Volume 23 • Issue 02 • 2024 • Special Issue: Connecting science communication research and practice: challenges and ways forward

Mar 25, 2024 Practice Insight
Exhibition research and practice at CERN: challenges and learnings of science communication `in the making'

by Daria Dvorzhitskaia, Annabella Zamora, Emma Sanders, Patricia Verheyden and Jimmy Clerc

This practice insight paper presents a reflection on a four-year collaboration between science communication practitioners and researchers, using CERN's new education and outreach centre as a case study. The development of interactive exhibitions for this centre was informed by a variety of front-end and formative evaluation studies, from online surveys to exhibit prototype testing. As a multidisciplinary team of exhibition developers and social science researchers, we describe and discuss the challenges of — as well as learnings from — working together. Our experience will be relevant for everyone curious to discover `behind-the-scenes' work of research-informed exhibition development in a large scientific laboratory.

Volume 23 • Issue 02 • 2024 • Special Issue: Connecting science communication research and practice: challenges and ways forward

Mar 11, 2024 Article
Science communication objectives and actual practices of science news websites as a showcase for gaps between theory and practice

by Ifat Zimmerman, Ayelet Baram-Tsabari and Tali Tal

This study contributes to the growing body of science communication research showing gaps between theory and practice objectives, focusing on one particular understudied and emerging science communication innovation.The objectives and practices of four Israeli science news websites were analyzed considering three science communication models: “Dissemination”, “Dialogue”, and “Participation.” Using concurrent parallel mixed methods, we examined the perspectives of website administrators (n=8) and readers (n=20) through interviews, a content analysis of news items (n=298), discussion threads (n=507), and reader questionnaires (n=89). Findings indicate limited adoption of two-way communication about how science is applied in society. The scant implementation of the dialogue model suggests its promises are not concretized in practice on these science news websites.

Volume 23 • Issue 01 • 2024