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May 09, 2022 Article
Does democratizing access to science imply democratizing science? A case study of non-corporate Spanish-speaking science YouTubers

by David Vasquez-Muriel and Jorge M. Escobar-Ortiz

In recent years, access to science content production has been democratized. New actors can make their discourses reach large audiences through popular platforms with no institutional gatekeeping. However, it remains unclear which conceptions of the science-society relationship underlie science content created by non-corporate individuals. To explore how science communication cultures of boosters and critics inform this kind of science content in Spanish, we conducted a qualitative content analysis of a sample of 50 videos from ten YouTube science channels. Our results suggest that more accessible science communication does not necessarily entail a democratized view of science but may reinforce a traditional perspective.

Volume 21 • Issue 03 • 2022

Apr 26, 2022 Article
“Easy to join in your pyjamas”: benefits and barriers of online science engagement at Australia's 2020 National Science Week

by Olivia F. McRae, Ellie Downing, Alice Motion, Chiara O'Reilly and Reyne Pullen

In 2020, National Science Week events shifted online in response to Australian COVID-19 restrictions. Our research captures this rapid pivot from in-person to online science events, exploring experiences through audience and presenter questionnaires, and follow-up interviews. We examine characteristics of audiences for online science events, benefits and barriers of these events, and opportunities for online engagement. Key benefits were ease of attendance, new experiences enabled online, and greater control and flexibility. Lack of social interaction, technology issues, and audience reliability were identified as barriers. Our research suggests online events operate in a different sphere to in-person events and informs the delivery of engaging online experiences.

Volume 21 • Issue 03 • 2022

Mar 28, 2022 Article
The Christmas Lectures: extending the experience outside the lecture theatre

by Hannah Little, Laura Fogg-Rogers and Ana Margarida Sardo

Traditionally, the Royal Institution's Christmas Lectures have always adopted a deficit model for communication, with one or two invited scientists giving lectures to an audience present at the Royal Institution (Ri) and, since 1936, an audience watching the lectures on television at home. As trends in public engagement have tended towards more dialogue or participatory models, the Ri has made efforts to create a programme of events around the lectures: extending the experience outside of the lecture theatre and giving audiences more opportunities to experience live events and participate in discourse. In this paper, we explore data collected as part of an 18 month evaluation of the Christmas Lectures and their associated events. We focus on data collected at events designed to create live and interactive experiences beyond the lectures and evaluate these participatory approaches. The paper shares this learning to enhance the extension of traditional science communication towards science participation.

Volume 21 • Issue 02 • 2022 • Special Issue Participatory science communication for transformation (PCST2020+1)

Mar 28, 2022 Article
Emergence of perceptions of smart agriculture at a community/campus farm: a participatory experience

by Chi-I Lin

This study provides a practice insight into campus/community co-farming as a communication experience connecting civic participants and experts in exploring the potential applications of smart agriculture. The observation focuses on participants' perceptions of smart-agri practices. The objectives of smart-agri practices have been identified to reduce negative environmental impact and meet local challenges; their development corresponds to the civic value-driven experience of promoting sustainable agriculture with low-risk, trackable information. Relatively few studies on smart-agri communication have engaged with the non-expert level. The findings highlight a viable participatory communication form of problem-solving, the public's trust of expertise, and a vision for inclusive socio-economic applications of smart agriculture.

Volume 21 • Issue 02 • 2022 • Special Issue Participatory science communication for transformation (PCST2020+1)

Mar 28, 2022 Article
Foot and mouth disease ready? How co-creation of and participation in knowledge development and sharing can transform relationships between livestock producers and other animal health stakeholders — an Australian case study

by Jennifer Manyweathers, Yiheyis Maru, Lynne Hayes, Barton Loechel, Jennifer Kelly, Simone Felton, Marwan El Hassan, Heleen Kruger, Rob Woodgate and Marta Hernandez-Jover

Building a strong and trustworthy communication network to report unusual signs of disease will facilitate Australia's response to a foot and mouth disease (FMD) outbreak. In a four-year study, the FMD Ready Farmer-led surveillance project adopted the Agricultural Innovation Systems (AIS) framework, modelling transformation of how knowledge is co-created, valued, and communicated. The FMD Ready project has highlighted the need for multiple stakeholders' voices to be heard, and the importance of regulatory bodies to listen. Relationships take time and need to be valued as a necessary tool in a participatory, innovative approach to animal health and disease management.

Volume 21 • Issue 02 • 2022 • Special Issue Participatory science communication for transformation (PCST2020+1)

Mar 28, 2022 Article
Comparing science communication theory with participatory practice: case study of the Australian Climate Champion Program

by Jenni Metcalfe

While short-term participatory science communication activities have been well researched, long-term programs have received scant attention. Analysing survey data and participant discussions, I investigated interactions between Australian farmers and scientists engaged in the Climate Champion Program (2009–2016). I compared their interactions to three theorised science communication models: deficit, dialogue and participatory. I found their interactions illustrated a mix of the characteristics of all three models. While farmers and scientists appeared to be motivated to interact by deficit and dialogue objectives, respectful and trusting relationships emerged from long-term participation, which was key to making deficit- and dialogue-style communication more effective.

Volume 21 • Issue 02 • 2022 • Special Issue Participatory science communication for transformation (PCST2020+1)

Mar 28, 2022 Article
Practicing engaged research through pandemic times: do not feed the animals?

by Virginia Thomas and Angela Cassidy

From ‘Feed the Birds’ to ‘Do Not Feed the Animals’ takes an engaged approach in which science communication is both process and outcome of the research. The project started in the UK in March 2020, coinciding with government-imposed lockdowns in response to the COVID-19 pandemic; since the project’s engagement had been designed around in-person interactions, a rapid and creative rethink was needed. This paper outlines the redesign of the project and describes a hybrid model of on-line and in-person engagement, integrating new skills and technologies which the pandemic catalysed, with well-established in-person practice in science communication. Our research develops good practice for online, participatory science communication, and supports the advancement of engaged research more widely.

Volume 21 • Issue 02 • 2022 • Special Issue Participatory science communication for transformation (PCST2020+1)

Mar 14, 2022 Article
Deconstructing citizen science: a framework on communication and interaction using the concept of roles

by Susanne Hecker and Monika Taddicken

Citizen science opens the scientific knowledge production process to societal actors. In this novel collaboration process, scientists and citizens alike face the challenge of new tasks and functions, eventually resulting in changing roles. Role theory provides a way of conceptualizing the roles that people take in communication and interaction. We use role theory to create a framework that identifies scientists' and citizens' tasks in citizen science projects, main aims of communication, spaces they interact in, and their roles — thus providing a structured way to capture communication and interaction in and about CS for further scientific reflection and practical application.

Volume 21 • Issue 01 • 2022

Mar 07, 2022 Article
Scientific research in news media: a case study of misrepresentation, sensationalism and harmful recommendations

by Georgia Dempster, Georgina Sutherland and Louise Keogh

Accurate news media reporting of scientific research is important as most people receive their health information from the media and inaccuracies in media reporting can have adverse health outcomes. We completed a quantitative and qualitative analysis of a journal article, the corresponding press release and the online news reporting of a scientific study. Four themes were identified in the press release that were directly translated to the news reports that contributed to inaccuracies: sensationalism, misrepresentation, clinical recommendations and subjectivity. The pressures on journalists, scientists and their institutions has led to a mutually beneficial relationship between these actors that can prioritise newsworthiness ahead of scientific integrity to the detriment of public health.

Volume 21 • Issue 01 • 2022

Feb 21, 2022 Article
Wildlife comics, or the making of young naturalists in late Franco's Spain (1969–1970)

by Carlos Tabernero

This essay examines a highly popular comic series published in Spain between 1969 and 1970 which focused on Felix Rodríguez de la Fuente (1928–1980), a prominent and influential naturalist and media icon, as main character. These comics constitute a remarkably illustrative example of the use of popular media in processes of construction of natural history knowledge. Situated in the complex final years of Franco's regime, they allow us to probe the combined role of science, media, and celebrity in the construction of a visual environmental culture through storytelling strategies designed to engage young audiences in naturalist-like practices.

Volume 21 • Issue 01 • 2022