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Filter by keyword: Representations of science and technology

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93 publications found

Jul 15, 2024 Article
Science journalism in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: news sources engagement and [lack of] science accountability

by Abdullah Alhuntushi and Jairo Lugo-Ocando

In this article we explore normative professional expectations around science journalists in Saudi Arabia (KSA) and how news reporters do access, engage with, and use news sources. Against broader and more universal normative expectations, we found that journalists in that country used a low diversity of sources in science news reporting and depended on official and public relations sources. These findings point to a current lack of criticality in science media reporting in KSA and limited ability for media to hold science to account. In so doing, we offer explanations for the divergence and gaps.

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 Article
Plants and Peoples exhibit at MUHNAC: analysis of traditional and scientific medicine from the perspective of the Epistemologies of South

by Martha Marandino and Maria Paula Meneses

The article explores the ““Cure, Malaria, Frederic Welwitsch and the Healer”” theme of the exhibition “Plants and Peoples” from the Museum of Natural History and Science, Portugal. The study focuses on the research carried out by German naturalist F. Welwitsch on local plants in Angola as well as on history of lived colonial experience A. M. Mafumo, a healer from Mozambique, arrested for practicing “traditional medicine”. Using the analytical framework of the Epistemologies of the South we analyze the relationships between traditional and scientific knowledge using documentation, as well as interviews with curators and visitors. The article questions the exhibit' dialogue between these knowledges as an expression of an ecology of knowledges.

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

Apr 24, 2024 Essay
Studying science in pop culture through textual analysis. An introduction to examining science in visual texts — Street art, comics and (animated) film

by Anna-Sophie Jürgens, Lucy Darragh, Paul Peace, Rita Agha, John Noel Viana and Isabel Richards

Textual analysis is a commonly-used qualitative method for analysing and interpreting cultural texts. This approach elicits how representations occur, their underlying assumptions and how they come to have meaning. Despite the popularity and utility of textual analysis, its interpretive and theoretical strategies are not comprehensively described in science communication research. To fill this gap and clarify how textual analysis can be used to unpack the cultural meanings and representation of science in visual texts — images, comics and films — the authors analyse and discuss four environmentally-themed scholarly articles that apply textual analysis. This showcases the value of textual analysis in investigating and understanding the relationships between pop culture and science, demystifying it for science communication students and researchers.

Volume 23 • Issue 03 • 2024

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 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 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

Nov 06, 2023 Practice Insight
What would aliens think of science on earth? Philosophical dialogues in the museum to help children reflect about science

by Jelle De Schrijver

Thinking about what makes science science can help people develop both an understanding of and a critical attitude towards knowledge. In this case study we explore how children participating in informal science communication activities can think about science by engaging in philosophical dialogues. The dialogue facilitator's inquisitive stance helps children develop arguments about knowledge, scientists, and science. The use of philosophical questions and a cover story involving alien scientists enthuses most children, but some find it frustrating. However, frustration acts as a motivator enhancing further reflection. Introducing this approach at science museums or science festivals challenges science communicators to question rather than to answer.

Volume 22 • Issue 05 • 2023

Aug 21, 2023 Essay
Response to: “Looking back to launch forward: a self-reflexive approach to decolonising science education and communication in Africa”. Decoloniality opens up new epistemic vistas for science communication

by Sujatha Raman

Decolonial perspectives open up epistemic and practical insights for science communication. Following critiques of a deficit-model framing of the field, science communication has been redefined as an inclusive cultural space of meaning-making around science. From a decolonial lens, however, a cultural perspective necessitates a fundamental reckoning with the historical and contemporary politics of knowledge claims, including the erasure and devaluation of entire knowledge-systems in the process of Westernization. In recognizing and learning from these histories, science communication can learn from parallel developments within the sciences. It can also learn from contributions made by decolonial scholars to the global challenge of navigating sustainable futures. This piece briefly discusses one such example, drawing from scholarship on the ontological cosmovision of Ubuntu and its relevance to climate change dilemmas today.

Volume 22 • Issue 04 • 2023