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Mar 25, 2024 Editorial
Connecting science communication research and practice: challenges and ways forward

by Liliann Fischer, Germana Barata, Andreas M. Scheu and Ricarda Ziegler

Science communication is a thriving field that is vitally important to confront and overcome current societal challenges. To make science communication effective, science communication research and practice need to come together and share knowledge and experiences. However, their collaboration is hampered by a variety of obstacles on both sides, ranging from lack of time to lack of incentives and awareness. In this Special Issue we give space to authors from a wide range of backgrounds to reflect on the relationship between science communication research and practice and inspire the field with their insights and learnings.

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

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

Nov 13, 2023 Article
An analysis of science communication about COVID-19 vaccination in Portuguese online news media

by Elaine Santana, Joana Bernardo, Inga Donici, Rúben Valente, Bárbara Pedro, Inês Almeida, Sílvia Silva, Conceição Alegre, Teresa Loureiro and Rosa Silva

This study aimed to analyze the usage of scientific concepts and technical terms related to COVID-19 vaccination in Portuguese online news sources and examine citizens' comprehension of these terms. A retrospective descriptive study was conducted, examining Portuguese news articles about COVID-19 vaccination from November 2021 to January 2022. Scientific terms were extracted from 190 articles, and seven citizens provided identification and brief definitions of familiar terms. Approximately 68% of the news articles involved collaboration with researchers or health professionals. A total of 144 scientific terms were identified in 77% of the articles, with more than half (57.54%) of these terms being unknown or inadequately defined by the citizens consulted.

Volume 22 • Issue 05 • 2023

May 22, 2023 Article
Ups and downs on “r/science” — exploring the dynamics of science communication on Reddit

by Jonas Kaiser, Birte Fähnrich and Laura Heintz

This exploratory study analyzed user-generated science communication on Reddit from May 2007 to October 2018 (n = 694.147 posts). We used automated content analyses and topic modelling to explore patterns that the user-generated communication exhibits. Results indicate that science communication on r/science refers to a broad range of different topics and disciplines. Specific upvote features of Reddit result in increased attention to sources and topics. Especially, social media sources and content that is self-referential to Reddit lead to high controversy in discussions.

Volume 22 • Issue 02 • 2023

May 08, 2023 Article
The reported effects of neuroscience literacy and belief in neuromyths among parents of adolescents

by Ilona M. B. Benneker, Nikki C. Lee, Sibel Altikulaç, Chiel van der Veen, Lydia Krabbendam and Nienke van Atteveldt

Neuroscience research has increased our understanding of brain development, but little is known about how parents of adolescents engage with this neuroscientific information. Dutch parents completed a digital survey on neuromyths, neuroscience literacy and views of the adolescent brain and behaviour. These parents believed 44.7% of neuromyths and showed reasonable neuroscience literacy (79.8%). Stronger neuromyth belief predicted a more negative view on adolescent brain development. About 68% of the parents reported that they had changed their parenting behaviour based on their understanding of neuroscientific findings. These self-reported changes most often reflected changes to parents' own behaviour. The results of this study underline the importance for scientists and parents to engage in scientific activities to promote respectful and trusting relationships between them. These relationships have the potential to make communication about adolescent brain development between scientists and parents more effective and will empower parents to use correct information as a basis for their decisions around raising their adolescents.

Volume 22 • Issue 02 • 2023

Apr 24, 2023 Article
Exploring the brand of science: implications for science communication research and practice

by Todd P. Newman and Becca Beets

Research on branding seeks to uncover the emotional, sensory, and cognitive meanings when a person first encounters an object, person, or idea. This exploratory study uncovers how these meanings apply in the context of science, and why a branding framework is important for science communication theory and practice. Reporting on survey data collected in April and June 2021, our results suggest a consistent functional brand image for science, yet a more nuanced context for how different branding constructs relate to science.

Volume 22 • Issue 02 • 2023

Mar 06, 2023 Practice Insight
Contemporary multimedia applications in the cultural communication discourse of the museum

by Ádám Kuttner and Andrea Kárpáti

AR/VR applications are gaining prominence in exhibition communication. In this field research project, we developed an assessment model to identify major AV/VR application types and their functions. We then used this model to describe 32 contemporary multimedia exhibition applications in 12 countries. During our visits to the exhibitions, we assumed the perspective of the non-specialist visitor to better identify communicative effects of AR/VR applications and compare them with traditional guides developed for similar exhibitions. Our results show that these innovative sources of information may significantly contribute to visitor enjoyment as well as knowledge gain and retention.

Volume 22 • Issue 01 • 2023

Jan 25, 2023 Article
Science knowledge and trust in science in biodiversity citizen science projects

by Baptiste Bedessem, Anne Dozières, Anne-Caroline Prévot and Romain Julliard

Citizen science projects are valued for their impact on participants' knowledge, attitude and behavior towards science. In this paper, we explore how participation in biodiversity citizen science projects is correlated to different dimensions of trust in science. We conduct a quantitative study through an online survey of 1,199 individuals, 586 of them being part of a biodiversity citizen science program in France. Our results suggest that participation-related trust is more exhaustive — it covers more dimensions of the scientific endeavor — than education-related trust. This exploratory study calls for more empirical research on the links between citizen science and the different dimensions of public trust in science.

Volume 22 • Issue 01 • 2023

Jan 18, 2023 Article
`Pandem-icons' — exploring the characteristics of highly visible scientists during the Covid-19 pandemic

by Marina Joubert, Lars Guenther, Jenni Metcalfe, Michelle Riedlinger, Anwesha Chakraborty, Toss Gascoigne, Bernard Schiele, Ayelet Baram-Tsabari, Dmitry Malkov, Eliana Fattorini, Gema Revuelta, Germana Barata, Jan Riise, Justin T. Schröder, Maja Horst, Margaret Kaseje, Marnell Kirsten, Martin W. Bauer, Massimiano Bucchi, Natália Flores, Orli Wolfson and Tingjie Chen

The Covid-19 pandemic escalated demand for scientific explanations and guidance, creating opportunities for scientists to become publicly visible. In this study, we compared characteristics of visible scientists during the first year of the Covid-19 pandemic (January to December 2020) across 16 countries. We find that the scientists who became visible largely matched socio-cultural criteria that have characterised visible scientists in the past (e.g., age, gender, credibility, public image, involvement in controversies). However, there were limited tendencies that scientists commented outside their areas of expertise. We conclude that the unusual circumstances created by Covid-19 did not change the phenomenon of visible scientists in significant ways.

Volume 22 • Issue 01 • 2023

Nov 23, 2022 Conference Review
Challenges and opportunities for science communication in a post-COVID world: the IAMCR 2022 Suzhou Pre-conference

by Ruifen Zhang

Aiming to address various fundamental questions regarding science communication solutions to a polarized post-COVID-19 world, the IAMCR 2022 Suzhou Pre-conference was held from 8 to 10 July 2022. More than 300 delegates gathered online to discuss a variety of topics related to science communication and public engagement with science in a post-COVID-19 world. With its focus on China, alongside the involvement of leading scholars from around the world, the conference provided an opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of the factors that shape science communication, and societal responses to science, in different country contexts.

Volume 21 • Issue 07 • 2022