Browse all Publications

Filter by section: Book Review

Publications included in this section.

Feb 20, 2018 Book Review
A fascinating book about ethnography made public and the ethnography of publicization

by Karen Mogendorff

If Truth Be Told is a collection of essays on the politics of public ethnography and focuses on seasoned anthropologists' reflexive and critical engagement with public responses to their monographs. Fassin's primary purpose is to provide an ethnography of publicization. The book illuminates how public responses reflect and are affected by hegemonic sociopolitical realities and sociocultural practices and impact on the life and work of anthropologists. Of special interest is to what effect contributors take up different roles such as the role of expert to advocate for a more nuanced, non-hegemonic and contextualized understanding of marginalized people or specific groups.

Volume 17 • Issue 01 • 2018

Feb 13, 2018 Book Review
Science journalism by a journalist for journalists

by Andy Ridgway

This book is a beginners' guide to science journalism, explaining the 21st century journalistic process, from generating story ideas to creating multimedia content when the story's written, taking in research and writing structures along the way. While many of the chapters are introductory, the book also covers topics also likely to be of interest to more experienced writers, such as storytelling techniques and investigative journalism. Readers are introduced to important debates in the field, including the role that science journalism plays; whether it is a form of `infotainment', or whether its primary role is to hold scientists and the science industry to account. Taken as a whole, what the book does particularly well is to introduce prospective science writers to the judgements they need to make as reflective practitioners.

Volume 17 • Issue 01 • 2018

Nov 28, 2017 Book Review
Creative Research Communication — Theory and Practice

by Luisa Massarani

This article aims to present a critical analysis of the book entitled “Creative Research Communication ― Theory and Practice”, written by Clare Wilkinson and Emma Weitkamp (Manchester University Press, 2016). We aim to present the structure of the book, highlighting its strengths and successes. Although some chapters focus on the UK, the book offers a wide range of examples of practical activities for the communication of research of global interest and provides very useful tips. Ethical issues and the importance of evaluation, of how to do carry out such evaluation and dissemination, are also presented in an inspiring way. Well-written and objective, the book is a must-read for anyone who works, or aspires to work, in the field of public engagement with research.

Volume 16 • Issue 05 • 2017

Nov 15, 2017 Book Review
A carefully crafted work of rhetorical art

by Erik Stengler

Shroeder Sorensen analyses in depth the close relationship of the TV-series Cosmos [1980] with the popular culture, in its broadest sense, at the time of its release. The novel application of Fantasy-Theme analysis to the rhetorical vision of the series reveals how it is the product of a very careful and successful design. The book also compares the original series with its 2014 reboot Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey [2014].

Volume 16 • Issue 05 • 2017

Mar 13, 2017 Book Review
Spotlighting shared goals for science education and communication

by Laura Fogg-Rogers

van den Sanden and Vries curate reflections and insights about the shared goals, practices and processes which bring together academics and practitioners in science education and communication. The book spotlights areas of productive overlap but is just the beginning for meaningful collaboration.

Volume 16 • Issue 01 • 2017

Feb 22, 2017 Book Review
Synthetic biology: below the radar

by Emma Weitkamp

Englehard et al. provide a wide-ranging look at synthetic biology, from discussion of how one might classify different synthetic approaches to consideration of risk and ethical issues. The chapter on public engagement considers why synthetic biology seems to sit below the public radar.

Volume 16 • Issue 01 • 2017

Jul 20, 2016 Book Review
The new divide: how a scientist-gone-filmmaker thinks Hollywood can save science

by Victoria Gant

BOOK: Olson, R. (2015). Houston, we have a narrative: Why science needs story. Chicago, U.S.A.: University of Chicago Press

Scientist-turned-filmmaker Randy Olson makes a bold claim: scientists cannot adequately explain their own work. He attributes all of the issues facing science communication today ― false positives, an uninterested public, and unapproved grant proposals ― to scientists' lack of narrative intuition. Rather than turn to the humanities for help, Olson suggests scientists learn from the true masters of storytelling ― Hollywood filmmakers. His latest book examines the age-old divide between science and the humanities, as well as the new adversarial relationship between science and film, which he says can save science.

Volume 15 • Issue 05 • 2016

Jun 17, 2016 Book Review
The new commodities of the new media landscape

by Andy Ridgway

BOOK: Content is king; News media management in the digital age.
Graham, G., Greenhill, A., Shaw, D.Andvargo, C., Eds (2015), London, U.K.: Bloomsbury

The ‘traditional’ media industry ― newspapers and magazines and the like ― have had a difficult time lately thanks to increasing competition online. This book's chapters consider ways the traditional media can reinvent themselves to secure their future. Two key themes that emerge from the chapters are the importance of building communities and the increasing role of credibility in today's highly-competitive media landscape. While this book does not focus on the science media, many of the conclusions are relevant to it, in fact some are cause for comfort for those involved with science journalism.

Volume 15 • Issue 04 • 2016

Nov 24, 2015 Book Review
A handy guide to science-communication theory and practice

by Achintya Rao

The ever-changing nature of academic science communication discourse can make it challenging for those not intimately associated with the field ― scientists and science-communication practitioners or new-comers to the field such as graduate students ― to keep up with the research. This collection of articles provides a comprehensive overview of the subject and serves as a thorough reference book for students and practitioners of science communication.

Volume 14 • Issue 04 • 2015

Dec 19, 2014 Book Review
Social networks and popular understanding of science and health: sharing disparities

by Ann Grand

In this book, Brian G. Southwell discusses how disparities in information-sharing arise and what can be done to alleviate them. In all sorts of ways and for all sorts of reasons, people have always sought to share information among their family and other social networks. However, this sharing has never been equal: inevitably, some people are better-informed than others and some are more socially-connected than others. At first glance, the plethora of communication tools and technologies available nowadays should help democratise information and reduce disparity but differences in how, when and with whom information is shared create conversation gaps and maintain inequalities. Southwell explores and catalogues information-sharing behaviours, discusses the factors that affect how and why we share information and addresses the questions of why disparities in information-sharing matter and what we can do about the gaps between ‘information-haves’ and ‘information have-nots’.

Volume 13 • Issue 04 • 2014