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Filter by keyword: Popularization of science and technology

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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

Dec 11, 2023 Article
The teaching of science communication in higher medical education in Peru in the context of the COVID-19 post-pandemic

by Alessandro Strobbe, Michelle C. Chirinos-Arias, Joe Lucero and Enrique Rojas

The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the importance of effective science communication skills among medical students. Developing countries, in particular, face unique challenges in assessing the adequacy of such training. To bridge this knowledge gap, we designed and administered a survey in Spanish to evaluate science communication skills among Peruvian medical students (n=69). Our preliminary study demonstrates the statistical robustness of the survey and provides valuable insights into self-reported science communication proficiency. By identifying the strengths and areas for improvement in science communication, this research represents a crucial step in addressing the communication challenges within the Peruvian healthcare system.

Volume 22 • Issue 06 • 2023 • Special Issue: Science communication in higher education: global perspectives on the teaching of science communication

Jun 20, 2023 Article
The lab, the space and the meetup: locating technological experimentation in everyday life

by Andreas Hepp

This article analyzes the role digital pioneer communities play in the localization of everyday technological experimentation based on three sites of practice: the lab, the space, and the meetup. Taking a historical view, it begins with a reconstruction of Stewart Brand’s popularization of the lab discourse. On this basis, the space in the Maker movement as well as the meetup in the Quantified Self and Hacks/Hackers movements is investigated, finally arriving at a reflection on the dynamics that come and go between them. While the article is primarily a conceptual contribution, its arguments are grounded in an extensive media ethnography.

Volume 22 • Issue 03 • 2023 • Special Issue: Living labs under construction: paradigms, practices, and perspectives of public science communication and participatory science

May 22, 2023 Article
Ups and downs on “r/science” — exploring the dynamics of science communication on Reddit

by Jonas Kaiser, Birte Fähnrich and Laura Heintz

This exploratory study analyzed user-generated science communication on Reddit from May 2007 to October 2018 (n = 694.147 posts). We used automated content analyses and topic modelling to explore patterns that the user-generated communication exhibits. Results indicate that science communication on r/science refers to a broad range of different topics and disciplines. Specific upvote features of Reddit result in increased attention to sources and topics. Especially, social media sources and content that is self-referential to Reddit lead to high controversy in discussions.

Volume 22 • Issue 02 • 2023

May 08, 2023 Article
The reported effects of neuroscience literacy and belief in neuromyths among parents of adolescents

by Ilona M. B. Benneker, Nikki C. Lee, Sibel Altikulaç, Chiel van der Veen, Lydia Krabbendam and Nienke van Atteveldt

Neuroscience research has increased our understanding of brain development, but little is known about how parents of adolescents engage with this neuroscientific information. Dutch parents completed a digital survey on neuromyths, neuroscience literacy and views of the adolescent brain and behaviour. These parents believed 44.7% of neuromyths and showed reasonable neuroscience literacy (79.8%). Stronger neuromyth belief predicted a more negative view on adolescent brain development. About 68% of the parents reported that they had changed their parenting behaviour based on their understanding of neuroscientific findings. These self-reported changes most often reflected changes to parents' own behaviour. The results of this study underline the importance for scientists and parents to engage in scientific activities to promote respectful and trusting relationships between them. These relationships have the potential to make communication about adolescent brain development between scientists and parents more effective and will empower parents to use correct information as a basis for their decisions around raising their adolescents.

Volume 22 • Issue 02 • 2023

Apr 11, 2023 Article
Support for COVID-19 mandatory vaccination in the United States: examining the role of cultural worldviews, risk-benefit perceptions, and trust in scientists

by Yuan Wang, John Leach, Jiyoun Kim and Saymin Lee

This study sets out to understand the role of cultural worldviews, risk perceptions, and trust in scientists in impacting U.S. participants' support for COVID-19 mandatory vaccination. Results from an online survey (“N” = 594) suggest that stronger individualistic and hierarchical worldviews are associated with more perceived COVID-19 vaccination risks, less perceived COVID-19 vaccination benefits, and lower support for COVID-19 mandatory vaccination. Perceived benefits mediate the impact of cultural worldviews on support for COVID-19 mandatory vaccination. Trust in scientists moderates the relationship between cultural worldviews and perceived benefits of COVID-19 vaccination. Theoretical and practical implications of the findings are discussed.

Volume 22 • Issue 02 • 2023

Mar 06, 2023 Practice Insight
Contemporary multimedia applications in the cultural communication discourse of the museum

by Ádám Kuttner and Andrea Kárpáti

AR/VR applications are gaining prominence in exhibition communication. In this field research project, we developed an assessment model to identify major AV/VR application types and their functions. We then used this model to describe 32 contemporary multimedia exhibition applications in 12 countries. During our visits to the exhibitions, we assumed the perspective of the non-specialist visitor to better identify communicative effects of AR/VR applications and compare them with traditional guides developed for similar exhibitions. Our results show that these innovative sources of information may significantly contribute to visitor enjoyment as well as knowledge gain and retention.

Volume 22 • Issue 01 • 2023

Feb 08, 2023 Article
Spokespersons for science: examining social media influencers' popularization of controversial technologies on YouTube

by Jiemin Looi and Shirley S. Ho

An online experiment involving 251 Singaporeans assessed how social media influencers' (SMIs) prototypicality (i.e., embodiment of group attitudes) and social attraction affected their popularization of nuclear energy development. Participants exposed to a SMI with high prototypicality perceived the YouTube video more favorably, displayed greater intention to share the YouTube video, and possessed greater attitude intensity toward nuclear energy development. Participants displayed greater intention to share the YouTube video when the SMI had high social attraction and possessed moderate to high prototypicality. Conversely, participants displayed less intention to share the YouTube video when the SMI had low social attraction and prototypicality.

Volume 22 • Issue 01 • 2023

Jan 16, 2023 Article
Media as mediators in a science-based issue: politics, foreign influence and implications on adoption of Genetically Modified Organisms in food production in Uganda

by Ivan Nathanael Lukanda, Sara Namusoga-Kaale and George Claassen

The paper highlights the feedback loop between media, politics, foreign influence and science in relation to the adoption of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) in food production in Uganda to demonstrate that socio-cultural considerations are important in the GMO science and technology debates. Based on the science-in-society model, the findings from a content analysis of newspaper articles over a four-year period, supplemented by interviews with scientists, activists from non-governmental organisations, journalists, and Members of Parliament's Science and Technology Committee, the study found that food is a politically thick issue. Both activists and scientists opportunistically use the media, the platforms where the public access and contribute content, to appeal to the politicians to legislate GMOs in their favour, arguing that the activists or the scientists' position is in the `public interest'. Often, such coverage produces a paradox for the public by accelerating uncertainty regarding the science and the products of genetic modification, especially when politicians fail to decide for fear of the political implications of their action as is the case in Uganda.

Volume 22 • Issue 01 • 2023

Nov 07, 2022 Commentary
What is ‘‘science communication’’?

by Bruce Lewenstein

The field of science communication goes by many names. This commentary explores the tensions between plain ‘‘science communication’’ and the more specific ‘‘public communication of science and technology’’. The commentary argues that science communication is not just one thing — and that’s okay.

Volume 21 • Issue 07 • 2022