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Filter by keyword: Visual communication

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Nov 21, 2017 Article
Capturing the many faces of an exploded star: communicating complex and evolving astronomical data

by Lisa Smith, Kimberly Arcand, Randall Smith, Jay Bookbinder and Jeffrey Smith

This study explored how different presentations of an object in deep space affect understanding, engagement, and aesthetic appreciation. A total of n = 2,502 respondents to an online survey were randomly assigned to one of 11 versions of Cassiopeia A, comprising 6 images and 5 videos ranging from 3s to approximately 1min. Participants responded to intial items regarding what the image looked like, the aesthetic appeal of the image, perceptions of understanding, and how much the participant wanted to learn more. After the image was identified, participants indicated the extent to which the label increased understanding and how well the image represented the object. A final item asked for questions about the image for an atronomer. Results suggest that alternative types of images can and should be used, provided they are accompanied by explanations. Qualitative data indicated that explanations should include information about colors used, size, scale, and location of the object. The results are discussed in terms of science communication to the public in the face of increasing use of technology.

Volume 16 • Issue 05 • 2017

Nov 15, 2017 Book Review
A carefully crafted work of rhetorical art

by Erik Stengler

Shroeder Sorensen analyses in depth the close relationship of the TV-series Cosmos [1980] with the popular culture, in its broadest sense, at the time of its release. The novel application of Fantasy-Theme analysis to the rhetorical vision of the series reveals how it is the product of a very careful and successful design. The book also compares the original series with its 2014 reboot Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey [2014].

Volume 16 • Issue 05 • 2017

Jun 21, 2017 Commentary
The landscape of online visual communication of science

by Cristina Rigutto

Online visual communication of science focuses on interactive sharing and participatory collaboration rather than simple knowledge dissemination. Visuals need to be stunning to draw people in and engage them, and a cross-media approach together with digital multimedia tools can be used to develop a clear and engaging narrative to communicate complex scientific topics. On the web both science communicators and the public manage co-create, shape, modify, decontextualise and share visuals. When it happens that low science literacy publics devoid a picture of its information assets, caption or source, they distort image meaning and perpetuate misinformation.

Volume 16 • Issue 02 • 2017

Jun 21, 2017 Commentary
Big data and digital methods in science communication research: opportunities, challenges and limits

by Nico Pitrelli

Computational social science represents an interdisciplinary approach to the study of reality based on advanced computer tools. From economics to political science, from journalism to sociology, digital approaches and techniques for the analysis and management of large quantities of data have now been adopted in several disciplines. The papers in this JCOM commentary focus on the use of such approaches and techniques in the research on science communication. As the papers point out, the most significant advantages of a computational approach in this sector include the chance to open up a range of new research opportunities: from the study of technical and scientific controversies to citizen science, from the definition of new norms and practices for science journalism to open science issues. On the other hand, difficulties are shared with other areas of application. The main risk is that the large quantity of data available can overwhelm the importance of theory. Instead, as the papers in this commentary demonstrate, big data should push scientists to pursue a deeper epistemological and methodological reflection also in the research on science communication.

Volume 16 • Issue 02 • 2017

Jun 01, 2017 Conference Review
Hollyweird Science ― A symposium at the 253rd Annual meeting of the American Chemical Society. San Francisco 3 & 4 April 2017

by Erik Stengler

Science in film is gaining attention from scientists and science communicators. Sixteen experts gathered at the 253rd Annual Meeting of the American Chemical Society to explore the role and relevance of science in film. An audience of researchers, academics and students enjoyed first-hand accounts from filmmakers, science consultants and experts in science communication, who all agreed on the important impact the way science is depicted in film has on education, outreach and the relationship between science and society.

Volume 16 • Issue 02 • 2017

Dec 06, 2016 Article
Online science videos: an exploratory study with major professional content providers in the United Kingdom

by María Carmen Erviti and Erik Stengler

We present an exploratory study of science communication via online video through various UK-based YouTube science content providers. We interviewed five people responsible for eight of the most viewed and subscribed professionally generated content channels. The study reveals that the immense potential of online video as a science communication tool is widely acknowledged, especially regarding the possibility of establishing a dialogue with the audience and of experimenting with different formats. It also shows that some online video channels fully exploit this potential whilst others focus on providing a supplementary platform for other kinds of science communication, such as print or TV.

Volume 15 • Issue 06 • 2016

Nov 17, 2016 Article
Open Media Science

by Kristian Martiny, David Budtz Pedersen and Alfred Birkegaard

In this article, we present three challenges to the emerging Open Science (OS) movement: the challenge of communication, collaboration and cultivation of scientific research. We argue that to address these challenges OS needs to include other forms of data than what can be captured in a text and extend into a fully-fledged Open Media movement engaging with new media and non-traditional formats of science communication. We discuss two cases where experiments with open media have driven new collaborations between scientists and documentarists. We use the cases to illustrate different advantages of using open media to face the challenges of OS.

Volume 15 • Issue 06 • 2016

Jun 22, 2016 Commentary
Talk on the wide side: professional development for wildlife and science filmmakers

by Louis Nadelson and Ru Mahoney

Science and wildlife films are very common and widely viewed. Yet, most of the makers of these films have entered the profession because of their knowledge or interest in science and wildlife. Given the potential for a rather circuitous route to the profession many filmmakers benefit tremendously from engagement in professional development. We have detailed the professional development needs of novice and expert science and wildlife filmmakers ranging from keeping current with technology to consideration of engaging audiences beyond the viewing. We have also addressed gaps in the current knowledge of the professional development of these filmmakers and how film festivals may be structured to meet the ongoing educational needs of these professionals.

Volume 15 • Issue 04 • 2016

May 25, 2016 Article
Typologies of the popular science web video

by Jesus Munoz Morcillo, Klemens Czurda and Caroline Y. Robertson-von Trotha

This article provides a first statistical analysis of the typologies and characteristics of popular science web videos on YouTube. An analysis of 190 videos from 95 online video channels was conducted. Several factors such as narrative strategies, video editing techniques, and design tendencies with regard to cinematography, the number of shots, the kind of montage used, and even the use of sound design and special FX point to a notable professionalism among science communicators independent of institutional or personal commitments. This analysis represents an important step in understanding the essence of current popular science web videos and provides an evidence-based description of their distinctive features.

Volume 15 • Issue 04 • 2016

Mar 17, 2016 Commentary
Hollywood heroes in high tech risk societies: modern fairy tales and emerging technologies

by Anna Lydia Svalastog and Joachim Allgaier

Science, research and emerging technologies often play a key role in many modern action movies. In this contribution we suggest to use genre analysis of folk narratives as an innovative and useful tool for understanding science and technology in action movies. In this contribution we outline our approach using illustrative examples and detail how understanding action movies as modern fairy tales can benefit the study of science, research and technology in popular culture.

Volume 15 • Issue 02 • 2016