In the next few months, JCOM will undergo relevant changes. A new owner will take charge of its editorial management and define new development strategies. This important transition is a good opportunity to take stock of the past few years and to devise a new type of science communication research journal.
Various science events including Science Cafés have been held in Japan. However, there is the question whether these are events in which all people in society can participate? In particular, methods for checking whether or not the event attracts the participants targeted by the organizers have not yet been well established. In this paper, the authors have designed a simplified questionnaire to identify the participants’ attitudes toward science, technology and society, which can then be grouped into four clusters. When applied to various science cafés, the results revealed that participants consisted of Cluster 1 “Inquisitive type” and Cluster 2 “Sciencephile” who are interested in science and technology. The cafes studied did not provide sufficient appeal to people of Clusters 3 and 4 who are not interested in science and technology without applying some inventive methods. Our method provides a means of objectivelyevaluating the tendencies of participants in science communication events in order to improve the spread of science communications within society.
Spinal manipulation therapy (SMT) is a popular form of treatment for back pain among other musculoskeletal disorders, and it has received increasing media attention. Yet, despite its popularity, SMT is surrounded by controversy, mainly in regards to issues of safety and efficacy. To better understand how the media portrays SMT, we explored the content of print newspapers in Canada, the U.S., and U.K., including article framing, evidence of efficacy, risks and benefits, and the overall tone of the article in terms of whether or not the article was supporting, opposing or neutral about SMT. Results indicate that safety concerns and evidence for efficacy are rarely mentioned, but framing plays a large role in portrayals of SMT in each of the countries.
Communicating science to scientists works well thanks to well-defined communication structures based on both printed material in peer-reviewed publications and oral presentations, e.g.\ at conferences and seminars. However, when science is communicated to practitioners, the structures become fuzzy. We are looking at how to implement Web2.0 technologies to Danish seed scientists communicating to seed consultants, agricultural advisors, and seed growers, and we are met with the challenge of securing effective knowledge diffusion to the community. Our investigation's focal point is on Rogers' theoretical framework ``Diffusion of Innovation'' (DOI), as we look at how DOI may affect the Danish seed industry if science communication is redesigned in accordance with the framework. During our project workshop, participants recognized trends and characteristics from DOI in the Danish seed community and argued for more collaboration between scientists and practitioners. This can be done by implementing fast-learning via online website, but it needs to be assisted by slower-paced face-to-face learning to lessen the risk of a digital knowledge divide within the community.
Scientific journalism ought to pay attention not only to the “products” of science, but also to the ways in which it operates in any given historical and political context. A critical analysis of the presently dominant rhetoric of innovation and unlimited growth is necessary to shed light on the relationship between science and democracy. Equally profitable would be a thorough investigation of past and present controversies on the role of scientists in decision-making.
The science&art research played an important role in the topics covered by JCOM because actually the convergence of languages and themes of art and science increasingly continue to act synergistically in the most diverse knowledge fields.
This paper brings some reflections on JCOM and, in general on a science communication journal, from the perspective of the developing world. It is highlighted the following top aspects of JCOM: open access; the language, that is, the fact that authors can write in their own languages and the article is translated into English; and the fact that JCOM welcomes contributions from every part of the world. The author considers JCOM a unique journal, which approaches science communication in a rich way and keeping a welcome intellectual diversity.
The JCOM I would appreciate reading should address in real time the emerging trends and pressing issues concerning Science in society; it would be targeted not only to researchers in STS et similia, but also to the constantly expanding universe of science communication practitioners; it would make sure to avoid the hidden forms of social exclusion which are dangerously lurking behind all communication activity, including science communication.
Throughout its existence JCOM has earned a special recognition as a space of confluence for the international community of science communicators, but how should be its immediate future? Here are some ideas inspired by which Italo Calvino’s suggested as the main characteristics for the literature of the 21st century, hoping to have a JCOM light, rapid, accurate, visible, multiple, consistent and comprehensive.
Any development issue has mainly two dimensions — ‘interest of few and interest of many’, so is ‘science-communication’ as well, which leads to unwarranted but unavoidable uncertainties. Unless the former learn to sacrifice their ‘illegitimate interests’, the very objective of a development issue will continue to suffer, putting the latter at a risk of sacrificing their ‘legitimate interests’. The role of ‘science-communication’ is vital in today’s world, especially where complex issues of conflicting interests of science, industry, business, politics, and mass media are increasingly coming to the fore, and public and policy makers need to understand the ‘true science’; the role of ‘communicating science-communication’ has much larger value and impact in analyzing, understanding, and shaping the way how ‘public and political understanding of science’ can be improved with new models, methodologies, and practices. Science has a bearing on the way one thinks, behaves and conducts in the society. Thinking scientific is establishing harmony with nature. It could best be promoted by communicating science in a scientific way, which has therefore come up to be an evolved technique to channel ourselves to scientifically evolved societies, because distortions if any here have greater ramifications. A science-communication journal is dedicated to scientific and technological development as the entire science and technology establishment is. The present piece while deliberating on current scenario of science-communication journals vis-à-vis science-communication profession, describes many challenges poised, and looks at the future prospects and possible solutions, based on first hand observations and interactions.
JCOM is eleven years old, and this is certainly a reason to celebrate. The journal has been a tribune where we could observe how geographical and institutional frontiers of science communication (SC) have been expanded. As open access publication, JCOM has played a key important role to diffuse and make visible the research results for all. This is relevant for many institutions and researchers in Latin America due to the difficulties for paying to access to the papers published by the international scientific journals. The journal has made a relevant contribution to consolidation of the field of SC. Thinking on the future, JCOM may stimulate a global debate on theoretical perspectives about SC, and devote special issues to describe different regional contexts (India and East Asia; Latin America; Africa; or East Europe. The journal also may promote papers, special issues or specific discussions on SC and social theory.
In terms of efficiency, managing the effects of overpublising (the sheer volume of new papers published each week) has become seriously challenging for science communication researchers. This comment analyzes causes and consequences of this situation and proposes to research journals to take into considerations the following elements: a) special attention to headline and abstract, b) more visible and updated keywords and c) a clear structure of content and a shortening of the average number of pages per paper.
This short comment presents a few suggestions for the enrichment of JCOM seen from the perspective of an informal learning expert.
Three possibilities are suggested by the author that aims to improve the quality of Science Communication. These are quicker responses to the contemporary issues, adding more short articles so as to enrich and enlarge information, and focuses on some special issues aiming to discuss one topic from different perspectives. The author also gives two examples of special issues of science communication.