Volume 11 • Issue 03 • 2012


Sep 21, 2012 Editorial
Review of PCST2012 conference: where is communication going?

by Brian Trench

The PCST (Public Communication of Science and Technology) conference, held every two years, offers an opportunity to chart the progress and direction of the international science communication community. The most recent conference, in Firenze, gave indications of a growing interest in science communication as cultural practice.

Volume 11 • Issue 03 • 2012


Aug 31, 2012 Article
S&T coverage in English-language Indian dailies

by Bharvi Dutt and K.C. Garg

The paper examines the coverage of S&T related items published in selected English-language Indian newspapers in terms of their quantification and thematic representation. S&T is not the priority of the English-language newspapers in India. Even sports get several times more coverage than science. There is a case for amply visible representation of science in the press. Health, Environment, Space S&T, and Astronomy were the four dominant subjects covered. Most of the science covered in the newspapers was performed in the US, the UK and other advanced countries of Europe. Among all the newspapers, The Times of India devoted the maximum space to S&T coverage

Volume 11 • Issue 03 • 2012

Sep 03, 2012 Article
Scientific knowledge dissemination in Danish seed communities of practice

by Svend Tveden-Nyborg, Morten Misfeldt and Birte Boelt

Danish agriculture and seed science have a history of successful collaboration spanning more than a hundred years. In this study, we interviewed 26 growers, consultants, and scientists from the Danish seed community focusing on their current knowledge status and on their views on improving scientific knowledge communication. Theoretically, we consider these actors participants in different communities of practice relating to the production of seeds (Seed-CoP), and we conclude that strong network collaboration is present among Danish seed-CoP effectuated by the valuable work undertaken by the consultants. We discovered a divergence in knowledge dissemination among the growers – an innovative group of growers with a high demand for new scientific knowledge versus a majority of growers content with the level of knowledge provided by the consultants. ‘Time’ was recognized as an important parameter, as only the innovative growers prioritized time allocation for additional knowledge search. To improve scientific knowledge dissemination and interdisciplinary collaboration among Danish seed-CoP we recommend a combination of face-to-face and online communication processes.

Volume 11 • Issue 03 • 2012


Sep 21, 2012 Commentary
Bridging the gap between science and policy: the importance of mutual respect, trust and the role of mediators

by Karen Bultitude, Paola Rodari and Emma Weitkamp

Around the world there are widespread efforts to ensure that policy decisions are based upon a sound evidence base, and in particular to facilitate closer integration between the research and policy communities. This commentary provides an overview of the current situation in different parts of the world relating to the opportunities that exist for policy makers to assimilate scientific findings, as well as the existing barriers perceived by both the policy and research communities. Mutual trust and respect between the relevant parties emerge as crucial factors in successful collaboration. Skilled mediators are also considered essential to ensuring effective communication; this may be via third parties such as NGOs, or news services and online portals to convey, ‘translate’ and place in a policy context the scientific findings. Mechanisms for improving researchers’ communication skills as well as increasing their awareness of the need to communicate proactively with the policy community are also considered in order to inform future practice in this area.

Volume 11 • Issue 03 • 2012