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Nov 17, 2016 Article
Open Media Science

by Kristian Martiny, David Budtz Pedersen and Alfred Birkegaard

In this article, we present three challenges to the emerging Open Science (OS) movement: the challenge of communication, collaboration and cultivation of scientific research. We argue that to address these challenges OS needs to include other forms of data than what can be captured in a text and extend into a fully-fledged Open Media movement engaging with new media and non-traditional formats of science communication. We discuss two cases where experiments with open media have driven new collaborations between scientists and documentarists. We use the cases to illustrate different advantages of using open media to face the challenges of OS.

Volume 15 • Issue 06 • 2016

Oct 21, 2016 Article
A reexamination of the neurorealism effect: the role of context

by Maria Popescu, R. Bruce Thompson, William Gayton and Vincent Markowski

The phenomenon of lay readers of neuroscience being positively biased by the mere presence of brain images (fMRI), has been hotly debated, with recent failures to replicate the phenomenon, and suggestions that context is important. We experimentally investigated the potentially biasing effect of neuroimagery on participants' beliefs and explored an important facet of context within a neuroscience article: whether the article was supportive or critical of fMRI use in detecting states of mind. Results supported recent arguments that a “neurorealism” effect may in part be an artifact of experimental design; but we also report evidence that context may be critical.

Volume 15 • Issue 06 • 2016

Sep 21, 2016 Article
Using social network analysis to document science festival partnerships

by Christine Bevc, Denise Young and Karen Peterman

This study applies social network analysis to explore the role that one science festival has played in building the state's STEM learning ecosystem. It examines the breadth and extent of collaboration among STEM educators and their partners, reviewing past and present partnerships across 449 events during the 2015 festival. Three case studies provide in-depth illustrations of partnerships. These findings represent an important step towards (a) mapping a STEM learning ecosystem, and (b) trying to understand how a festival affects the ecosystem itself. Together, study results demonstrate how the festival has served to stimulate and foster STEM partnerships.

Volume 15 • Issue 05 • 2016

Sep 16, 2016 Article
Science Communication Postgraduate Studies in Latin America: a map and some food for thought

by Luisa Massarani, Elaine Reynoso-Haynes, Sandra Murriello and Ayelen Castillo

This paper contains an overview of the programmes currently existing in Latin America to train science communicators. For such purpose, only postgraduate courses held regularly were considered in the study. Twenty-two programmes meeting such requirement were identified in five countries, 65% of which were in fact established over the past ten years. They present a lot of diversity in terms of admittance requirements, goals, contents, approaches, duration and graduation requirements. However, all of them share the same effort, aiming to offer specific contents in the area of science communication.

Volume 15 • Issue 05 • 2016

Aug 17, 2016 Article
How advertising and sustainability dialog in Pan-Amazonia: the perspective of advertising professionals in Peru and Brazil

by Marcio Silva and Ligia Simonian

In this article it is investigated the relationship between advertising and sustainability by evaluating the perceptions of employees of advertising agencies in the Pan-Amazon region using pre-defined indicators. Seeking to identify the level of environmental practices adopted by advertising agencies toward the goal of building a sustainable society, it was interviewed advertising professionals about whether they saw themselves as contributing to changing consumer society towards a new society based on economic efficiency, social equality and ecological equilibrium. To answer these questions it was used quantitative survey data complemented by qualitative research using in-depth interviews. Results suggest that, from the point of view of advertising professionals, advertising agencies do not have much interest in contributing to a more sustainable society. Moreover, our research showed how the lack of strong ties within advertising trade associations further contribute to the weakness of efforts aimed at this area.

Volume 15 • Issue 05 • 2016

Aug 17, 2016 Article
Tweeting disaster: an analysis of online discourse about nuclear power in the wake of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident

by Nan Li, Heather Akin, Leona Yi-Fan Su, Dominique Brossard, Michael A. Xenos and Dietram A. Scheufele

Of all the online information tools that the public relies on to collect information and share opinions about scientific and environmental issues, Twitter presents a unique venue to assess the spontaneous and genuine opinions of networked publics, including those about a focusing event like the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident following the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. Using computational linguistic algorithms, this study analyzes a census of English-language tweets about nuclear power before, during, and after the Fukushima nuclear accident. Results show that although discourse about the event may have faded rapidly from the news cycle on traditional media, it evoked concerns about reactor safety and the environmental implications of nuclear power, particularly among users in U.S. states that are geographically closer to the accident site. Also, while the sentiment of the tweets was primarily pessimistic about nuclear power weeks after the accident, overall sentiment became increasingly neutral and uncertain over time. This study reveals there is a group of concerned citizens and stakeholders who are using online tools like Twitter to communicate about global and local environmental and health risks related to nuclear power. The implications for risk communication and public engagement strategies are discussed.

Volume 15 • Issue 05 • 2016

Jun 09, 2016 Article
"We muddle our way through": shared and distributed expertise in digital engagement with research

by Ann Grand, Richard Holliman, Trevor Collins and Anne Adams

The use and availability of digital media is changing researchers' roles and simultaneously providing a route for a more engaging relationship with stakeholders throughout the research process. Although the digital realm has a profound influence on people's day-to-day lives, some researchers have not yet professionally embraced digital technologies. This paper arises from one aspect of a project exploring how university research and professional practices are evolving as researchers engage with stakeholders via digital media to create, share and represent knowledge together. Using researchers from the Open University (U.K.) as a case study, this paper reviews the extent to which they are developing multiple identities and functions in their engaged research through digital media.

Volume 15 • Issue 04 • 2016

Jun 09, 2016 Article
Democratizing science in the eighteenth century: resonances between Condorcet's Sketch (1795) and twenty-first century science communication

by Lindy A. Orthia

The twenty-first century has witnessed a shift in science communication ideals from one-way science popularization activities towards more reflexive, participatory approaches to public engagement with science. Yet our longue duéee histories of science communication's antecedents focus on the former and have neglected the latter. In this paper I identify parallels between modern science communication ideals and an iconic Enlightenment text, Condorcet's Sketch for a Historical Picture of the Progress of the Human Mind (1795). I show that Condorcet's carefully negotiated balance between scientific reason and radical principles of democracy has much in common with twenty-first century debates about science communication.

Volume 15 • Issue 04 • 2016

Jun 07, 2016 Article
Maths in the news: uses and errors in Portuguese newspapers

by Susana Pereira, António Machiavelo and Jose Azevedo

The authors present a quantitative content analysis to assess the use of mathematical information in the news of five generalist Portuguese newspapers during a three-month period. Misuses of mathematics were also studied in this context. Results show that only a small percentage of the news articles have mathematical information when compared to previous studies in the field. Furthermore, over 30% of the news articles containing mathematical information have some type of mathematical error. Different categories of errors are defined and reasons why these might occur are discussed.

Volume 15 • Issue 04 • 2016

May 25, 2016 Article
Typologies of the popular science web video

by Jesus Munoz Morcillo, Klemens Czurda and Caroline Y. Robertson-von Trotha

This article provides a first statistical analysis of the typologies and characteristics of popular science web videos on YouTube. An analysis of 190 videos from 95 online video channels was conducted. Several factors such as narrative strategies, video editing techniques, and design tendencies with regard to cinematography, the number of shots, the kind of montage used, and even the use of sound design and special FX point to a notable professionalism among science communicators independent of institutional or personal commitments. This analysis represents an important step in understanding the essence of current popular science web videos and provides an evidence-based description of their distinctive features.

Volume 15 • Issue 04 • 2016