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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

Jun 03, 2024 Article
Science communicators from marginalized backgrounds challenge STEM cultural norms to promote community belonging

by Evelyn Valdez-Ward, Robert N. Ulrich, Nic Bennett, Esmeralda Martinez-Maldonado, Allison Mattheis, Kathleen K. Treseder, Bruno Takahashi and Sunshine Menezes

In the U.S., navigating STEM with marginalized identities can affect scientists' communication practices. There is a critical need for science communication training that accounts for the historical oppressions, discriminations, and inequities of marginalized communities. In this paper we analyzed 712 participant responses from ReclaimingSTEM science communication workshops to understand how marginalized scientists' identities influence their science communication practices. We found that participants' experiences of exclusion and hostility in STEM spaces influenced their engagement in science communication. Scientists from marginalized backgrounds aim to change the culture of STEM through their communication efforts to promote a sense of belonging for their communities.

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

May 27, 2024 Article
Navigating the AI era: university communication strategies and perspectives on generative AI tools

by Justus Henke

This study conducts a pioneering empirical analysis of generative AI tools, such as ChatGPT, in the context of university communication across German universities. It explores the adoption rates, identifies the primary challenges, and assesses the potential of these technologies, integrating several theoretical concepts. The findings reveal a widespread use of AI for translation and language correction, with broader applications gradually emerging. Adoption rates vary significantly between private and public universities, largely due to concerns over technical issues, data protection, and AI usability. The results underscore the need for enhanced training and AI policies that support effective integration and use.

Volume 23 • Issue 03 • 2024

May 06, 2024 Article
Journalists and scientists together: the public problem of science disinformation in Brazil

by Fábio Henrique Pereira and Raphael Sandes de Oliveira

This article analyzes the public problem of scientific disinformation in the Brazilian media covering the Covid-19 pandemic. A content analysis of 226 articles addressing disinformation as a problem was conducted in a quality newspaper (“Folha de S. Paulo”), a popular website (Metrópoles) and a science journalism magazine (“Pesquisa Fapesp”). The results suggest that the public debate has focused on spreading fake news during the Pandemic and its negative impact on public health. In addition, two opposing discourses, one populist and the other based on the scientific community and institutional normality, structured the public problem of science and disinformation in Brazil.

Volume 23 • Issue 03 • 2024

Apr 29, 2024 Article
Standards for science communication in extended and virtual reality: a model for XR/VR based on London Charter and Seville Principles

by Jose Luis Rubio Tamayo, Daniel Lewis Wuebben and Manuel Gertrudix

Videos featuring research results, laboratory tutorials, and online webinars are fundamental tools for disseminating science and boosting scientific impact. However, extended reality (XR) video technologies, which include virtual reality (VR), represent new challenges for scientists and science communicators. XR and VR can enhance, bend, or distort the reality surrounding scientific facts. The London Charter and Seville Principles are standards for computer-based visualization and reconstruction in a virtual reproduction of heritage sites and research in domains such as archaeology. Here, we develop a similar set of standards for the representation of scientific results in XR and VR and clarify the use of implicit XR and VR elements such as storytelling, setting, agency, interactivity, and other factors. Finally, the authors propose a framework XR/VR Model of Science Representation and Communication, derived from the context and other frameworks for representing information in virtual environments.

Volume 23 • Issue 03 • 2024

Apr 15, 2024 Article
Citizen science and learning outcomes: assessment of projects in South Africa

by Nonsikelelo Sackey, Corlia Meyer and Peter Weingart

This study assessed educational goals and learning outcomes in 57 citizen science projects in South Africa. Emphasising data collection as the primary objective, the findings revealed a secondary focus on environmental awareness, protection, and management, as well as education and research advancement. Notably, educational goals were often not prioritised, and formal measures for assessing learning outcomes were infrequently employed by project leaders. The study underscores the necessity for systematic approaches to evaluate the educational impacts of citizen science projects in South Africa.

Volume 23 • Issue 03 • 2024

Apr 08, 2024 Article
Effects of message frames and visual cues on cell-cultured meat communication: sensation seeking as a moderator

by Namyeon Lee and Sungkyoung Lee

Cell-cultured meat presents environmental and ethical advantages; however, negative public acceptance remains a significant hurdle. To generate more effective public engagement on this topic, we conducted two online experiments exploring the impact of message framing and food cues (Experiment 1) and the moderating role of an individual's personality trait, sensation seeking, (Experiment 2) on the perception of cultured meat news shared via social media. Our findings revealed that messages employing individual benefit-framing, as opposed to societal benefit-framing, resulted in more positive perceptions of cultured meat. Incorporating direct food cues in the communication led to reduced risk perception, a more favorable attitude, and increased intention to purchase cultured meat. Furthermore, sensation seeking was shown to be a significant moderator for the effects of the message features. Theoretical and practical contributions are discussed.

Volume 23 • Issue 03 • 2024

Mar 25, 2024 Article
Science Communication as a Human Right

by Gabriela Frías-Villegas, Kathia Elisa García-Gómez, Alejandro Guzmán-Vendrell, Irvin Alberto Mendoza-Hernández, Ricardo Tránsito-Santos and Fabiola Vázquez-Quiroz

This work discusses four practical science communication cases in which we worked with communities from different parts of Mexico in vulnerable situations. We analyze those cases from an interdisciplinary point of view, emphasizing the observation of human rights to propose a new inclusive definition of science communication and new strategies for engaging in horizontal dialogues with cultural groups. This perspective demands a change in methodological procedures, such as performing anthropological work and the co-creation of projects and materials together with all the members of the communities involved. We also propose using novel strategies to reach communities in vulnerable situations.

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

Mar 18, 2024 Article
Race-evasive ideology in U.S.-based science communication fellowship director discourse

by Nic Bennett, Anthony Dudo, John Besley and Yasmiyn Irizarry

A critical examination of science communication training programs may uncover barriers to cultivating inclusive, equitable, and just science communication spaces. In this study, we analyzed science communication fellowship director's discourse for evidence of race-evasive ideology — language that avoids talk of race and justifies current racial inequity as the outcome of nonracial processes [Bonilla-Silva, 2006]. We found the four frames of race-evasive ideology (minimization, abstract liberalism, cultural racism, and naturalization) pervasive in interviews with science communication fellowship directors. We discuss how these findings might explain why structural racism persists in science communication organizations despite their directors' best intentions.

Volume 23 • Issue 01 • 2024

Mar 11, 2024 Article
Science communication objectives and actual practices of science news websites as a showcase for gaps between theory and practice

by Ifat Zimmerman, Ayelet Baram-Tsabari and Tali Tal

This study contributes to the growing body of science communication research showing gaps between theory and practice objectives, focusing on one particular understudied and emerging science communication innovation.The objectives and practices of four Israeli science news websites were analyzed considering three science communication models: “Dissemination”, “Dialogue”, and “Participation.” Using concurrent parallel mixed methods, we examined the perspectives of website administrators (n=8) and readers (n=20) through interviews, a content analysis of news items (n=298), discussion threads (n=507), and reader questionnaires (n=89). Findings indicate limited adoption of two-way communication about how science is applied in society. The scant implementation of the dialogue model suggests its promises are not concretized in practice on these science news websites.

Volume 23 • Issue 01 • 2024