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Jun 14, 2019 Article
Science and technology for the people? On the framing of innovation in policy discourses in India and in EU

by Anwesha Chakraborty and Rita Giuffredi

In 2010 both India and Europe launched new strategies focused on innovation, for economic growth and for addressing societal challenges: the Decade of Innovation from the Indian Government and the Innovation Union from the European Union. This piqued our interest in investigating how these two political entities have envisioned the concept of innovation, particularly in studying and comparing how they have focused on people, both as final beneficiaries (and thus principal legitimisers) of policy actions, and as actors themselves in the innovation process. Per contra we found, in institutional documents, very different descriptions of how to adequately realise citizens' involvement, spanning from the abiding reference to people's inclusion in the Indian case to the varied discourses on public engagement in EU, down to the passive role accorded to citizens in some Expert Groups reports. The comparison between the understandings of innovation (and innovators) in the two contexts can enlarge and refine the argumentative and metaphoric repertoire of science communicators. Further, it can form the basis of a mature and shared debate on the role that knowledge production and innovation policies can and should play in the public governance of science and technology.

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

Jun 14, 2019 Article
The possibilities of Open Science for knowledge transfer in the science-policy interface

by Arko Olesk, Esta Kaal and Kristel Toom

This paper explores the possible role of Open Science in the knowledge transfer between research and policy, focusing on its potential use by scientific councillors at Estonian ministries. Qualitative interviews with scientific councillors show that they perceive their role as intermediaries between research and policy and focus their work on improving the quality of research commissioned by their ministry. This process, for them, involves using existing academic articles and datasets to which, however, they lack official access. We show that Open Science can contribute to knowledge transfer if there are knowledge brokers in public sector organizations.

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

Jun 14, 2019 Article
Foundations as organisational science policy interfaces? An analysis of the references to foundations made during parliamentary debates in the German federal parliament

by Franziska Oehmer and Otfried Jarren

Complex political decisions increasingly require scientific knowledge and expertise. But the exchange between actors from the political and the scientific systems is confronted by challenges. Science policy interfaces are needed in order to overcome the barriers to communication. This article analyses and discusses the importance of foundations as science policy interfaces. To this end, we will first present the salient features and functions of foundations as organisations in the framework of theoretical considerations and discuss their fundamental suitability as mediators of scientific knowledge in the political process. We will then identify the significance of foundations as science policy interfaces using a quantitative content analysis of references to foundations in the debates of the 18th German Bundestag.

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

Jun 14, 2019 Article
How do think tanks qualify their expertise? Exploring the field of scientific policy advice in France

by Thomas Laux

This study explores the field of scientific policy advice in environmental and energy policies in France to gain insights into the role of think tanks. The field evolved along with the growth of think tanks. The think tanks refer to several orders of worth and combine them in their communication in order to qualify their expertise. The results of the study reveal that the think tanks have become more independent actors and that the field of scientific policy advice has gained autonomy. Both aspects indicate that the relationship between politics and expertise has gradually changed in France.

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

Jun 14, 2019 Article
How science, technology and innovation can be placed in broader visions — Public opinions from inclusive public engagement activities

by Kei Kano, Mitsuru Kudo, Go Yoshizawa, Eri Mizumachi, Makiko Suga, Naonori Akiya, Kuniyoshi Ebina, Takayuki Goto, Masayuki Itoh, Ayami Joh, Haruhiko Maenami, Toshifumi Minamoto, Mikihiko Mori, Yoshitaka Morimura, TAMAKI Motoki, Akie Nakayama and Katsuya Takanashi

This study investigates how different segments of the public, with varying degrees of interest in S&T, could formulate opinions on a broader vision and the role they think STI should play in Japanese society through 2020 (Tokyo's Olympic and Paralympic year) and toward 2030. We conducted nine inclusive public engagement activities. Results indicated that the broad public opinions did not completely overlap with officials' opinions, a value of “open and appropriate” was mainly found from the unengaged public, and the visions and values based on their opinions could well be incorporated into the official document. Engaging the disinterested in S&T remains an issue.

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

Apr 15, 2019 Article
Learning from the news about the consequences of climate change: an amendment of the cognitive mediation model

by Corinna Oschatz, Marcus Maurer and Jörg Haßler

In this study, we suggest to amending the cognitive mediation model of learning from the news to explain the impact of news coverage on climate change on the recipients' acquisition of knowledge about the consequences of climate change. To test our theoretical assumptions, we combine a content analysis of 29 news media channels with a two-wave panel survey before and after the release of the 5th IPCC report. Results show that the amount of information on the consequences of climate change used in print media and prior knowledge are the strongest predictors of the knowledge in the second panel wave.

Volume 18 • Issue 02 • 2019

Apr 08, 2019 Article
Instagram and the science museum: a missed opportunity for public engagement

by Paige Brown Jarreau, Nicole Smith Dahmen and Ember Jones

Science museums are missing an opportunity to promote informal education, scientific literacy, public engagement and public visibility of scientists outside of museum walls via Instagram. With an analysis of 1,073 Instagram posts, we show that museums are using Instagram as a promotional broadcasting tool, with a focus on end results of collections and curation work over communication of museum-led discovery and science as a process. We suggest that science museums create more Instagram posts that offer educational information and visibility of exhibit creation and museum researchers' work behind the scenes.

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 25, 2019 Article
Societal problem solver or deficient discipline? The debate about social science in the online public sphere

by Brigitte Huber, Irmgard Wetzstein and Ingrid Aichberger

This study uses the online discourse surrounding an Austrian publicly-funded study about “Islamic kindergartens” as a case study to approach communication about the social sciences in the online public sphere. Results from a discourse analysis of 937 user comments in online forums of two Austrian daily newspapers show that the social sciences are often referred to as a “special case”. While some use this argument to neglect its societal relevance, others use it to highlight its role as societal problem solver. Moreover, users discuss characteristics of “true” social scientists and scrutinise the independence of institutionalised social science.

Volume 18 • Issue 02 • 2019