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Filter by keyword: Representations of science and technology

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93 publications found

Jun 14, 2019 Article
The rise of skepticism in Spanish political and digital media contexts

by Lorena Cano-Orón, Isabel Mendoza and Carolina Moreno

Currently in Spain, there is a political and social debate over the use and sale of homeopathic products, which is promoted mainly by the skeptical movement. For the first time, this issue has become significant in political discourse. This study analyzes the role that homeopathy-related stories are playing in that political debate. We analyzed the viewpoints of headlines between 2015 and 2017 in eight digital dailies (n = 1,683), which published over 30 stories on homeopathy during the three-year study period. The results indicated that the stance on therapy's lack of scientific evidence gained ground during the period studied.

Volume 18 • Issue 03 • 2019 • Special Issue: Communication at the Intersection of Science and Politics, 2019

May 20, 2019 Article
Gender and science in animation: analysis of the Anima Mundi Festival films

by Gabriela Reznik and Luisa Massarani

We used content analysis to analyse the representation of female scientists in animated short films on gender and science, selected from the Anima Mundi Festival, over 21 annual editions. In these films, female scientists are featured as ‘intelligent’, ‘dominant’ and ‘well respected’, adult, white, wearing a lab coat or uniform and working in laboratories and fieldwork. We identified a reconfiguration of the gender stereotype in films in which the female character is about to gain space and visibility. We also analysed films whose sexist foundations in the relationship between scientists and their interlocutors reinforce the reproduction of sexist and heteronormative stereotypes.

Volume 18 • Issue 02 • 2019

Mar 04, 2019 Article
Witnessing glaciers melt: climate change and transmedia storytelling

by Anita Lam and Matthew Tegelberg

The Extreme Ice Survey (EIS) is an exemplary case for examining how to effectively communicate scientific knowledge about climate change to the general public. Using textual and semiotic analysis, this article analyzes how EIS uses photography to produce demonstrative evidence of glacial retreat which, in turn, anchors a transmedia narrative about climate change. As both scientific and visual evidence, photographs have forensic value because they work within a process and narrative of witnessing. Therefore, we argue that the combination of photographic evidence with transmedia storytelling offers an effective approach for future scientific and environmental communication.

Volume 18 • Issue 02 • 2019

Feb 11, 2019 Practice Insight
Science Hunters: an inclusive approach to engaging with science through Minecraft

by Laura Hobbs, Carly Stevens, Jackie Hartley and Calum Hartley

Science Hunters is an outreach project which employs the computer game Minecraft to engage children with scientific learning and research through school visits, events, and extracurricular clubs. We principally target children who may experience barriers to accessing Higher Education, including low socioeconomic status, being the first in their family to attend university, and disability (including Special Educational Needs). The Minecraft platform encourages teamwork and makes science learning accessible and entertaining for children, irrespective of background. We employ a flexible approach that adapts to the needs of the users. More than 8000 children have been engaged in the first four years, with overwhelmingly positive feedback.

Volume 18 • Issue 02 • 2019

Dec 17, 2018 Commentary
Challenges of cross-cultural communication in production of a collaborative exhibition: Wai ora, Mauri ora

by Nancy Longnecker and Craig Scott

This case study of the development of a cross-cultural museum exhibition illustrates value and difficulties of cross-cultural collaboration. University researchers worked with a class of postgraduate science communication students and designers from the Otago Museum to produce a museum exhibition. ‘Wai ora, Mauri ora’ (‘Healthy environments, Healthy people’) provided visibility and public access to information about Māori work. The exhibition assignment provided an authentic assessment of student work, with a professional output. Working on the exhibition involved cross-cultural communication between Māori and pakehā (non-Māori) and between students and museum professionals. This provided a rich learning experience that took many of the players outside of their comfort zone.

Volume 17 • Issue 04 • 2018

Dec 17, 2018 Commentary
Indigenous Australian artists and astrophysicists come together to communicate science and culture via art

by Steven Tingay

During the International Year of Astronomy in 2009, we initiated a collaboration between astrophysicists in Western Australia working toward building the largest telescope on Earth, the Square Kilometre Array (SKA), and Indigenous artists living in the region where the SKA is to be built. We came together to explore deep traditions in Indigenous culture, including perspectives of the night sky, and the modern astrophysical understanding of the Universe. Over the course of the year, we travelled as a group and camped at the SKA site, we sat under the stars and shared stories about the constellations, and we talked about the telescopes we wanted to build and how they could sit on the Indigenous traditional country. We found lots of interesting points of connection in our discussions and both artists and astronomers found inspiration. The artists then produced <150 original works of art, curated as an exhibition called “Ilgarijiri — Things belonging to the Sky” in the language of the Wadjarri Yamatji people. This was exhibited in Geraldton, Perth, Canberra, South Africa, Brussels, the U.S.A., and Germany over the course of the next few years. In 2015, the concept went further, connecting with Indigenous artists from South Africa, resulting in the “Shared Sky” exhibition, which now tours the ten SKA member countries. The exhibitions communicate astrophysics and traditional Indigenous stories, as well as carry to the world Indigenous culture and art forms. The process behind the collaboration is an example of the Reconciliation process in Australia, successful through thoughtful and respectful engagements, built around common human experiences and points of contact (the night sky). This Commentary briefly describes the collaboration, its outcomes, and future work.

Volume 17 • Issue 04 • 2018

Dec 17, 2018 Commentary
RAS200 — engaging citizens with astronomy across cultural divides

by Steve Miller, Sue Bowler and Sheila Kanani

The night skies and the planet on which we live can be inspirational to young and old alike. In the run up to its 200th anniversary in 2020, the U.K.'s Royal Astronomical Society has put together a £1 million scheme to fund outreach and engagement activities for groups that are less well served in terms of access to astronomy and geophysics. This article outlines the projects funded and the impact they are starting to have.

Volume 17 • Issue 04 • 2018

Jul 24, 2018 Article
Promised future and possible future: science communication and technology at World's Fairs and theme parks

by Susana Herrera-Lima and Daniela Martin

World’s Fairs and scientific-technological theme parks have been
propitious places for the communication of science and technology through
modernity. This work addresses the issue of the construction of public
discourse about the future within these sites, as well as the changing role
attributed to science and technology as mediators in the relationships
between nature and society. In both fairs and parks, science and
technology play a leading role in the construction of the discourse about
the desirable and achievable future. The practices of science
communication and technology have specific forms, strategies and
objectives, depending on the purposes of the discourse enunciators at
different historical moments. This is exemplified through two cases: the
1939 New York World’s Fair and the EPCOT center in the U.S.

Volume 17 • Issue 03 • 2018

May 22, 2018 Article
Communicating science through the Comics & Science Workshops: the Sarabandes research project

by Cecile de Hosson, Laurence Bordenave, Pierre-Laurent Daures, Nicolas Décamp, Christophe Hache, Julie Horoks, Nassima Guediri and Eirini Matalliotaki-Fouchaux

The aim of this paper is to analyze the impact of Comics & Science workshops where forty-one teenagers (designated Trainee Science Comic Authors [TSCAs]) are asked to create a one-page comic strip based on a scientific presentation given by a PhD student. Instrumental genesis is chosen as the conceptual framework to characterize the interplay between the specific characteristics of a comic and the pieces of scientific knowledge to be translated. Six workshops were conducted and analyzed. The results show that the TSCAs followed the codes that are specific to the comic strip medium and took some distance with the science integrity. Nevertheless being involved in the creative process allowed them to understand the reasons for certain choices of science illustration or storytelling. This approach can foster the emergence of a critical mind with respect to reading science stories created in other contexts.

Volume 17 • Issue 02 • 2018