Browse all Publications

Filter by keyword: Science and media

Publications including this keyword are listed below.

Jun 20, 2018 Article
An inconvenient source? Attributes of science documentaries and their effects on information-related behavioral intentions

by Sara K. Yeo, Andrew R. Binder, Michael F. Dahlstrom and Dominique Brossard

We investigate the impact of a science documentary on individuals' intention to engage in information-related behaviors by experimentally testing the effects of source type (scientist, politician, or anonymous source) and communication setting (interview or lecture) using a manipulated clip from the documentary, ‘An Inconvenient Truth’. Our results indicate that, compared to anonymous sources, use of authoritative ones result in greater intention to engage in some information-related behaviors. Additionally, our results suggest that increased intentions to engage in exchanging information can be attributed to negative affect induced by the clip featuring a politician. Implications for documentary films and science communication are discussed.

Volume 17 • Issue 02 • 2018

May 15, 2018 Article
Optimism in a sea of uncertainties: the journalistic coverage on the research of new medicines in Brazil

by Carlos Henrique Fioravanti and César Maschio Fioravanti

This paper deals with the journalistic coverage of biologically active compounds presented as promising drugs in Brazil. The sample consists of 214 journalistic stories on 40 compounds published in two daily newspapers and a monthly science magazine from January 1990 to December 2016. After 27 years, although journalists and scientists had claimed that all compounds would become drugs in a few years, only two completed the evaluation tests and were approved for commercialisation. The paper provides a series of strategies to build a more analytical view on drug research and development.

Volume 17 • Issue 02 • 2018

Apr 23, 2018 Book Review
Discourse media analysis of risk and responsibility for environmental pollution

by Jenni Metcalfe

This book examines the media discourses about environmental pollution in Australia, China and Japan. The book's authors focus on the actors involved in discussions of risk versus those involved in responsibility for environmental pollution. The authors use novel and traditional means of analysis that combine techniques from a variety of disciplines to examine case studies of media discourse. The book provides an interesting, if at times simplistic, overview of the pollution issues facing each country. The conclusions made from the media analysis are relevant to those researching and practicing science communication in the context of such important environmental issues.

Volume 17 • Issue 02 • 2018

Apr 17, 2018 Commentary
Open science in the making: preliminary remarks on the putative effects of specialised online portals on scholarly collaboration and community building

by Dirk Hommrich

This commentary introduces a preliminary conceptual framework for approaching putative effects of scholarly online systems on collaboration inside and outside of academia. The first part outlines a typology of scholarly online systems (SOS), i.e., the triad of specialised portals, specialised information services and scholarly online networks which is developed on the basis of nine German examples. In its second part, the commentary argues that we know little about collaborative scholarly community building by means of SOS. The commentary closes with some remarks on further research questions regarding the putative impact of such systems on science communication and scholarly community building.

Volume 17 • Issue 02 • 2018

Apr 17, 2018 Commentary
Introduction to “Specialised portals, online information services, scholarly online networks: the impact of e-infrastructures on science communication and scholarly community building”

by Dirk Hommrich

While most researchers still primarily use emails and simple websites for professional communication, the number of specialised online portals, information services and scholarly social online networks is constantly growing. This development led to the 6th workshop organized by the team of openTA, an online portal for technology assessment. This issue of JCOM pools commentaries on the workshop which deal with questions such as: what are the criteria of successful digital infrastructures? Which potential for changing workflows or scholarly interaction and collaboration patterns do we ascribe to digital infrastructures?

Volume 17 • Issue 02 • 2018

Apr 04, 2018 Editorial
Branching out: new JCOM América Latina for dynamic science communication community

by Emma Weitkamp and Luisa Massarani

April marks a milestone in the history of JCOM, with the launch of new features for the International, English language journal alongside the launch of a sister journal, JCOM América Latina which will cater for the dynamic and fast growing Spanish and Portuguese speaking science communication community. Luisa Massarani, a long standing JCOM Editorial Board member, has led the development of JCOM América Latina and will act as the Editor for the new journal. JCOM and JCOM América Latina will work closely together, providing free, open access publishing for science communication research across the globe.

Volume 17 • Issue 02 • 2018

Mar 20, 2018 Book Review
Not a scientist: how politicians mistake, misrepresent, and utterly mangle science

by Zachary Kizer

Science permeates nearly every facet of human life and civilization. However, in an age of media oversaturation, it has been increasingly easier for pseudoscientific information to be disseminated among the masses, especially by those with a political agenda. In his book, ‘Not a Scientist: How Politicians Mistake, Misrepresent, and Utterly Mangle Science’, author Dave Levitan creates a guidebook for spotting and debunking unscientific ideas in the political sphere, a vital tool in the Information Age.

Volume 17 • Issue 01 • 2018

Mar 13, 2018 Article
Climate change news reporting in Pakistan: a qualitative analysis of environmental journalists and the barriers they face

by Asim Sharif and Fabien Medvecky

Climate change is a global risk as its causes and effects are not limited to national borders, but the risks and the responsibility are not evenly spread [Beck, 2009]. Pakistan is facing especially severe impacts in the form of disasters, floods, droughts, rising temperatures, cyclones and rising sea levels due to global emissions, despite its national emissions being nominal and accounting for only 0.46% of worldwide emissions [World Bank, 2018]. Ironically, the level of public awareness of climate change is low in Pakistan compared to not only advanced countries, but also to other countries in the South Asian region [Zaheer and Colom, 2013]. A contributing factor behind this is the communication gap between the media and the broader public. This study aims to explore the factors responsible for the limited coverage of climate change in the news media, leading to confusion, uncertainty, denial and low levels of climate change awareness in Pakistan. Qualitative semi-structured interviews were conducted with media professionals and the findings show that political, economic, social, cultural, technological and scientific factors influence the news coverage of climate change issues.

Volume 17 • Issue 01 • 2018

Mar 06, 2018 Editorial
AI writing bots are about to revolutionise science journalism: we must shape how this is done

by Mico Tatalovic

The rise of artificial intelligence has recently led to bots writing real news stories about sports, finance and politics. As yet, bots have not turned their attention to science, and some people still mistakenly think science is too complex for bots to write about. In fact, a small number of insiders are now applying AI algorithms to summarise scientific research papers and automatically turn them into simple press releases and news stories. Could the science beat be next in line for automation, potentially making many science reporters --- and even editors --- superfluous to science communication through digital press? Meanwhile, the science journalism community remains largely unaware of these developments, and is not engaged in directing AI developments in ways that could enhance reporting.

Volume 17 • Issue 01 • 2018

Feb 27, 2018 Conference Review
WCSJ2017: a bridge to the developing world

by Paula Leighton

The 10th World Conference of Science Journalists (San Francisco, U.S.A., 26–30 October 2017) was the most successful to date in terms of participants and probably the one with the largest presence of journalists from the developing world among its attendees and speakers. In agreement with the times, its themes were marked by ethical dilemmas in the communication of science, fake news and climate change, among others.

Volume 17 • Issue 01 • 2018