Science and media

07/05/2015

Scientists’ participation in science communication and public engagement activities is considered important and a duty. However, in particular, the science-media relationship has not been studied frequently. In this paper, we present findings from interviews with both scientists and journalists which were guided by the Theory of Planned Behavior. Results show that different behavioural, normative and control beliefs underlie scientists’ and journalists’ participation in science-media interactions. Both groups are positive about science-media interactions, but scientists perceive various disadvantages in this relationship while journalists perceive mainly practical barriers. Enhancing mutual understanding and further research is suggested.

31/03/2015

The literature illustrates how media research on the energy question is characterized by a limited focus on separate energy options, resulting in a lack of research into the diversity of and mutual relations between various energy options. This paper reports on a quantitative content analysis of eight Belgian newspapers (N=1181), focusing on whether certain energy options are systematically more covered in certain regions, types of newspapers and/or types of newspaper sections. The results show that five energy options dominate the debate and that there are minimal differences per region, but remarkable differences between types of newspapers and newspaper sections.

12/03/2015

This paper tries to 1) identify the dominant media frames of science and 2) compare media selection and framing of science-related articles in Croatian daily newspapers during two politically and socioculturally different periods: the late socialism and the (post)transition. The research methodology was based on content and frame analysis which encompassed articles on science in daily press with the highest readership between 1986–1988, and 2006–2008. The main findings indicate changes in the selection of science topics as well as in the representation of individual frames. Changes reflected not only current events in the world of science but also wider social and journalistic values, as well as evaluations of the importance of specific topics.

22/09/2014

Antibiotic resistance is an increasing global threat involving many actors, including the general public. We present findings from a content analysis of the coverage of antibiotic resistance in the Swedish print media with respect to the risk communication factors cause, magnitude and countermeasures. The most commonly reported cause of development and spread of resistance was unnecessary prescription of antibiotics. Risk magnitudes were mostly reported qualitatively rather than using quantitative figures. Risk-reduction measures were analyzed using a framework that distinguishes between personal and societal efficacy. Measures at the societal level were more commonly reported compared to the individual level.

22/09/2014

We analysed the representations of science and of scientists at Jornal Nacional, the main Brazilian TV news. We carried out content and frames analysis, besides the lexical and semantic analysis of the transcriptions of the science and technology stories. Our results show a narrative that highlights the novelties and the epopee of the scientific advance, mainly in the health field. But to the emotional palette feelings of combat, anxiety and triumph were added. The face of the scientist presented by the TV news is mainly masculine, suggesting a stereotyped role of the male and female scientist: meanwhile men go out to literally explore other worlds, women take care of health and of the body.

22/09/2014

The purpose of this study is to quantify the use of science fiction films in academic papers as well as to analyse the patterns of use of those films indexed in international databases, using the ISI Web of Science database. Twenty films were selected from recognised sources. Films referenced in the scientific literature were detected and, with quantitative methodologies, we classified their genres, the journals of publication and the disciplines they belong to. Finally, we performed a detailed study of each paper in which selected films were found, to observe and categorise specifically the ways such film references are used.

25/03/2014

Modern society has led many people to become consumers of data unlike previous generations. How this shift in the way information is communicated and received — including in areas of science — and affects perception and comprehension is still an open question. This study examined one aspect of this digital age: perceptions of astronomical images and their labels, on mobile platforms. Participants were n = 2183 respondents to an online survey, and two focus groups (n = 12 astrophysicists; n = 11 lay public). Online participants were randomly assigned to 1 of 12 images, and compared two label formats. Focus groups compared mobile devices and label formats. Results indicated that the size and quality of the images on the mobile devices affected label comprehension and engagement. The question label format was significantly preferred to the fun fact. Results are discussed in terms of effective science communication using technology.

04/03/2014

This paper explores media coverage of climate science through a selection of Spanish newspapers (El País, El Mundo, ABC, Expansión and Levante). We selected a stratified random sample of 363 items to be studied for eleven years (2000-2010). Content analysis allowed us to find out media attention paid to climate science, prevalence of informative tables, evaluation and characterization of news, as well as the presence of questioning or rejection of climate change. According to main results, press coverage of climate science in Spain was mainly focused on the consequences rather than on the causes or natural sources, and media attention paid to it was limited. Overlapping with social and macroeconomic problems in the country also contributed to communication of climate science as a controversial and uncertain science through informative framings.

11/12/2013

Science is part of our everyday live; so is art. Some art installations that link the two require the active presence of the spectator. Thereby they help to raise the awareness, promote understanding, and generate an emotional response from the public. This project rests on the public participation model that seeks to explore the connection between art installations and science communication through experiential learning. In order to test the effectiveness of an art installation communicating science two groups were contrasted. The first was exposed to a list of scientific facts; the second participated in the creation of an art installation. The results of this research suggest that art installations do promote long-term fact retention. Therefore, the use of art installations can be considered an interesting method of conveying science in an attractive, reliable, and memorable way.

11/12/2013

This paper analyses the adoption of new information and communication technologies (ICTs) by Spanish journalists specialising in science. Applying an ethnographic research model, this study was based on a wide sample of professionals, aiming to evaluate the extent by which science journalists have adopted the new media and changed the way they use information sources. In addition, interviewees were asked whether in their opinion the Web 2.0 has had an impact on the quality of the news. The integration of formats certainly implies a few issues for today’s newsrooms. Finally, with the purpose of improving the practice of science information dissemination, the authors put forward a few proposals, namely: Increasing the training of Spanish science journalists in the field of new technologies; Emphasising the accuracy of the information and the validation of sources; Rethinking the mandates and the tasks of information professionals.

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