A new editorial board is guiding JCOM through a period of change and here opens out the discussion on what JCOM has become and what it could or should become in the future. The journal's readers are invited to make their contributions.
Agriculture has adopted many scientific innovations that have improved productivity. The majority of innovations in agriculture have been communicated to end users through a simple diffusion and dissemination model. However, as the science underpinning the innovations becomes more complex, research and development organizations need to look at better ways to communicate their innovation to end users. This paper examines innovations in the beef industry in Australia and investigates how complex innovations are being communicated and identifies the nature and level of communication with end users and the role of intermediaries. The findings support the need for greater involvement of end users in the innovation development process and a more vibrant two-way communication process between scientists, intermediaries and end users. The results also suggest that the traditional diffusion processes are insufficient to ensure high levels of awareness and adoption.
This study assesses the correlation between reports on food risk published in scientific journals and in the printed mass media and changes in the meat market. It focuses on the case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in the United Kingdom. The findings suggest that during the time BSE and its related human disease were of noticeable public concern, there was a predominantly negative correlation between the number of reports on BSE published in the British printed mass media and meat market variables. In contrast, reports of scientific research on the disease contributed to reducing the perception of food risk because these numbers correlated positively with the meat market.
The explosion at the Fukushima Nuclear Plant highlighted serious social concerns about risk communications; the public found it difficult to take preventive actions based on scientific information of radioactive fallout. We investigated public perception of the risks from low dose radiation and the role of information providers through the Internet survey focusing on parents in four Japanese regional groups. Mothers felt more anxious than fathers in Fukushima but not in further groups, and that the furthest group felt the most ambiguous anxiety. Their anxiety derived from distrust of the government and uncertainty about scientific information, rather than the lack of knowledge although risk communication emphasized learning the scientific mechanism. The mediators should provide more information for individual decision-making of day-to-day risk management in regions with different levels of radiological contamination; key issues include improving parents’ perceived control to their lives and easing their tension of responsibility to children’s health.