Browse all Publications

Filter by keyword: Science and media

Publications including this keyword are listed below.

Mar 25, 2024 Essay
Bridging research and practice: insights from collaborative science communication research on Japanese television

by Taichi Masu and Yasuhito Abe

This collaborative essay details the reflections of a science communication practitioner and a media communication scholar on their joint research into science communication through Japanese commercial terrestrial television. It emphasizes their unique perspectives as an insider and outsider in their respective fields, suggesting a method to strengthen the collaboration between academic research and its practical application in science communication.

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

Mar 25, 2024 Practice Insight
Transforming science journalism through collaborative research: a case study of the German “WPK Innovation Fund for Science Journalism”

by Christopher Buschow, Anja Noster, Holger Hettwer, Lynda Lich-Knight and Franco Zotta

Science journalism, a unique form of science communication, faces grand challenges requiring innovation for its sustainability. This practice insight delves into a research-practice collaboration addressing the “WPK Innovation Fund for Science Journalism”, a pioneering support infrastructure for innovation in German science journalism. Our transformative accompanying research project aims to both support the fund's development as well as advance science journalism research. This report, co-authored by researchers and practitioners, showcases opportunities and challenges, drawing from the three forms of knowledge generated in the collaboration: systems, target, and transformation knowledge. Each of these forms sheds light on specific lessons learned in our project on how to conduct transformative journalism research.

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

Mar 04, 2024 Article
Science fiction media representations of exoplanets: portrayals of changing astronomical discoveries

by Emma Johanna Puranen, Emily Finer, Christiane Helling and V. Anne Smith

Interest in science fiction's (SF's) potential science communication use is hindered by concerns about SF misrepresenting science. This study addresses these concerns by asking how SF media reflects scientific findings in exoplanet science. A database of SF exoplanets was analysed using a Bayesian network to find interconnected interactions between planetary characterisation features and literary data. Results reveal SF exoplanets designed after the discovery of real exoplanets are less Earth-like, providing statistical evidence that SF incorporates rapidly-evolving science. Understanding SF's portrayal of science is crucial for its potential use in science communication.

Volume 23 • Issue 01 • 2024

Feb 28, 2024 Article
#WomenInSTEM: exploring self-presentation of identity on Instagram

by Jocelyn Steinke, Amanda Coletti and Christine Gilbert

Despite prior research on portrayals of women in STEM in traditional media, fewer studies have considered portrayals on social media. This content analysis of Instagram posts (N=300) examined how individuals using the hashtag #WomenInSTEM presented their gender identity, STEM identity, and other social identities through digital self-portraits, selfies, and associated text. Results showed that those associating with this hashtag community primarily presented: 1) counter-gender-stereotyped portrayals, but occasionally reflected gender stereotypes in subtle ways; 2) STEM identity portrayals, mostly focused on self-recognition; and 3) self-promotional and lifestyle portrayals. Findings advance understanding of identity presentation and negotiation for individuals associating with the hashtag #WomenInSTEM through portrayals presented on Instagram. Implications for the use of social media to promote equity in STEM through outreach programs that feature women STEM role models are discussed.

Volume 23 • Issue 01 • 2024

Feb 08, 2024 Article
"That's some positive energy": how social media users respond to #funny science content

by Michael A. Cacciatore, Sara K. Yeo, Leona Yi-Fan Su, Meaghan McKasy, Liane O'Neill and Sijia Qian

Many scientists make use of social media and take various approaches to humor in their posts to encourage online public engagement, yet little is known about how publics respond to particular types of online science humor. This study investigates the behavioral effects of the presence of different types of science humor, specifically anthropomorphism, wordplay, and the two combined, shared by a scientist on Twitter. Individuals who experienced higher levels of mirth after exposure to humorous science content were more likely to leave a comment on the social media post. Additionally, individuals' need for cognition moderated the relationship between humor exposure and mirth, as well as the relationship between mirth and leaving a comment. These results and future research are discussed.

Volume 23 • Issue 01 • 2024

Feb 05, 2024 Article
A comparative study of frames and narratives identified within scientific press releases on ocean climate change and ocean plastic

by Aike N. Vonk, Mark Bos, Ionica Smeets and Erik van Sebille

To understand how scientific institutions communicate about ocean climate change and ocean plastic research, 323 press releases published between 2017 and 2022 were analyzed. A clustering method revealed 4 ocean climate change and 5 ocean plastic frames that were analyzed qualitatively. Ocean plastic was presented as a biological and health issue, placing an emphasis on solutions and society's obligation to implement them. Ocean climate change was framed as environmental and socio-economic problem, highlighting politics' responsibility for mitigation. Narratives were only used to personify science and represent scientists, indicating that future press releases could include more social dimensions to engage audiences in ocean issues.

Volume 23 • Issue 01 • 2024

Jan 15, 2024 Editorial
Welcome to 2024: issues and trends occupying JCOM this year

by Michelle Riedlinger

As we usher in 2024, we highlight some of the issues and trends that are occupying JCOM, and the fields of science communication and academic publishing more generally.

Volume 23 • Issue 01 • 2024

Dec 11, 2023 Article
Training researchers and planning science communication and dissemination activities: testing the QUEST model in practice and theory

by Ebe Pilt and Marju Himma-Kadakas

This study tests the potential of using the QUEST model in science communication teaching and applying the model in planning communication and dissemination (C&D) activities for research applications. Based on the training analysis, we reason that the QUEST model provides relevant criteria for understanding the function of science communication. We argue that the QUEST indicators create a theoretical foundation that can be applied in science communication courses at different levels of higher education. However, the model functions better as a supportive tool for reasoning and perceiving communication activities. The qualitative analysis of research applications' C&D activities indicates the applicability of the QUEST model for analysing C&D activities, and single indicators of the model are evident in most of the conducted activities. In the theoretical framework, we look at the dependence of the quality of science communication on general trends: the functioning of deficit and dialogical or deliberative communication models in contemporary society and in the context of mediatisation.

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

Nov 27, 2023 Article
Science communication practices and trust in information sources amongst Nigerian scientists and journalists

by Emma Weitkamp, Ruth Larbey, Mahmoud Bukar Maina, Katy Petherick, Mustapha Shehu Muhammad, Abdullahi Tsanni, Xinyang Hong and Abdulhamid Al-Gazali

Relatively few studies have explored the communication practices of researchers and journalists working in African contexts. We set out to explore the communication activities undertaken by Nigerian health researchers and journalists, their motivations and the barriers they face in communicating about health topics with lay audiences, as well as their trust in a range of sources of scientific information. The study adopted a survey methodology, recruiting 69 participants at a communications training workshop for both health researchers and journalists. We found high levels of participation in research communication amongst health researchers compared with previous work. While many barriers are similar to those faced by researchers in other contexts, our respondents highlighted that lack of support from managers is a significant hurdle, which has not been highlighted in other studies. Both journalists and researchers primarily communicate science with the aim of educating, informing, entertaining or inspiring their audiences. Regarding trust, both researchers and journalists broadly trust sources linked to science, such as academic journals. However, trust in industry, NGOs and other media was higher amongst journalists than health researchers. Least trust was invested in social media sources, with the exception of material posted on accounts linked to universities.

Volume 22 • Issue 05 • 2023

Oct 09, 2023 Essay
A critical perspective on the mediatization of brain imaging and healthy ageing

by Najmeh Khalili-Mahani and Eugene Loos

Since the invention of functional brain imaging in the early 1990s, this instrumentally and computationally expensive methodology has captured our interests in visualizing the working mind, especially that of super-ageing brains. Because neuroimaging research is costly, various communication strategies are deployed to increase its visibility and fundraising success. Through a historical perspective on the representation of healthy ageing in the media, we examine the methods of communication (media logic) and the cultural interdependencies between media, research institutions, and health funding politics (mediatization), which magnify the profile of brain imaging in advancing the science of healthy ageing. Examples of hyped messaging about healthy-ageing brains underline the risk of visual ageism — a prejudiced and stereotypical view of what a good or bad older brain looks like. We argue that hyped mediatization can alienate older adults from participating in a line of research that might stigmatize them.

Volume 22 • Issue 05 • 2023