Volume 9 • Issue 04 • 2010


Dec 21, 2010 Editorial
Science journalism to face a demand for renewal

by Nico Pitrelli

A workshop on science journalism organised at SISSA of Trieste, Italy a few weeks ago outlined scenarios that should serve as a source for debate among professionals and scholars to grasp how information activities regarding science, medicine and technology will evolve in the next few years. It is a time of great uncertainty, yet a common path to venture through can be made out: the new science journalism should meditate on a different concept of science, an in-depth conceptualisation of different audiences, alternative narrations and its role in the democratisation of knowledge within a knowledge-based society.

Volume 9 • Issue 04 • 2010


Oct 27, 2010 Article
Fractal art

by Giudi Scotto Rosato

Assuming that scientific development and artistic research are genetically similar, this article shows the common need of knowledge of art and science, their dialectical and multidirectional relations and the unstable boundaries between them. The fractal art has assimilated the cognitive and perceptive changes in the realm of non-euclidean geometries and has become a precise instrument of "epistemological observation". Artistic practices materialize and communicate the laws of science, while scientific revolutions are in actual facts metaphorical revolutions.

Volume 9 • Issue 04 • 2010

Dec 14, 2010 Article
Let's follow the actors! Does Actor-Network Theory have anything to contribute to science journalism?

by Carlos Henrique Fioravanti and Lea Velho

Science journalism usually focuses on achievements presented in scientific papers previously published in specialized journals. In this paper we argue that the Actor-Network Theory (ANT) can help to widen this approach and reduce the dependency on scientific papers, by valuing not only scientists, but also other actors, theirs motivations, interests and conflicts. ANT could also help to reduce the distance between scientists and the audience by exposing uncertainties about the production of science.

Volume 9 • Issue 04 • 2010

Dec 21, 2010 Article
From dissemination to response: in search of new strategies for broadcast media in terms of cyclone warnings for Bangladesh

by Sony Jalarajan Raj, Mohammad Sahid Ullah and Rawshon Akhter

Media and communications technologies play a significant role in disaster management procedures in regards to the mobilization of resources in emergency situations. While the dissemination of warning messages relayed via broadcast technologies have had some positive outcomes in terms of reducing casualties in emergency situations in Bangladesh, there remain some specific problems in regards to the manner in which these messages are distributed within this developing nation. These problems are addressed within this paper. Examining the existing cyclonic warning dissemination system and the manner in which warning information is distributed and received, this study addresses citizen responses to mediated warning messages in the vulnerable coastal regions of Bangladesh. The results indicate that attitudes towards mediated warnings held by Bangladeshi citizens in these environs differ depending upon their access to media, type of dwelling and differing levels of literacy. This study also provides recommendations for media professionals and policymakers in regards to disseminating more effective warnings to the inhabitants of Bangladesh's cyclone-prone coastal belt.

Volume 9 • Issue 04 • 2010


Dec 21, 2010 Commentary
Science journalism in the age of crowd: interviews

by Filippo Bonaventura

The purpose of this commentary is extending and enriching the discussion raised in the “Science Journalism and Power in the 21st Century” workshop, held last month in the context of MAPPE project at SISSA, Trieste. We collected three interviews of authors expert in communication and media on different fields strongly influenced by participatory communication practices: Anabela Carvalho (global warming and climate change), Pieter Maeseele (technological risks) and Denise Silber (‘eHealth’ and ‘Health 2.0’). The interviews therefore analyze three different perspectives of a more general issue: How is the ecosystem of scientific information changing by means of a new concept of ‘public’? Which are the new ways in which citizens produce and manage scientific information? What could be a new role for science journalism? These three interviews aim to delve, from a theoretical point of view, into the sociological framework of an ecosystem of information driven by active public participation in the communicative practices. Emphasis will be put on the way in which scientific knowledge is reconstructed and negotiated in the Web 2.0 arena: democracy in the knowledge society intrinsically depends on a fair outcome of this process. Nevertheless, the crisis of traditional media and journalist’s figure is threatening the democratization of science. In this sense, the social function of journalism is still – and will be – unescapable. The re-distribution of social power by means of Web 2.0 is a key issue, and new sensible communication practices and professionals are needed.

Volume 9 • Issue 04 • 2010

Book Reviews

Dec 21, 2010 Book Review
When boffins go POP: Eduard Kaeser expects that the bubble of spectacular science may burst

by Joachim Allgaier

Eduard Kaeser has written an interesting and critical book that is concerned with the connections between science and everyday life. The conception of ‘pop science’ is introduced to characterize developments in science popularisation that are spectacular, superficial and potentially harmful to science-society relationships. The book is of special interest to the science communication community, since it may initiate discussion about the purposes of communicating science, and also about legitimate and illegitimate strategies and means of doing so.

Volume 9 • Issue 04 • 2010