Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013 Aug 20;110 Suppl 3:14102-9. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1212745110. Epub 2013 Aug 12.

Gap between science and media revisited: scientists as public communicators.

Author information

1
Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine: Ethics in the Neurosciences, Forschungszentrum Jülich, 52425 Jülich, Germany. h.p.peters@fz-juelich.de

Abstract

The present article presents an up-to-date account of the current media relations of scientists, based on a comprehensive analysis of relevant surveys. The evidence suggests that most scientists consider visibility in the media important and responding to journalists a professional duty--an attitude that is reinforced by universities and other science organizations. Scientific communities continue to regulate media contacts with their members by certain norms that compete with the motivating and regulating influences of public information departments. Most scientists assume a two-arena model with a gap between the arenas of internal scientific and public communication. They want to meet the public in the public arena, not in the arena of internal scientific communication. Despite obvious changes in science and in the media system, the orientations of scientists toward the media, as well as the patterns of interaction with journalists, have their roots in the early 1980s. Although there is more influence on public communication from the science organizations and more emphasis on strategic considerations today, the available data do not indicate abrupt changes in communication practices or in the relevant beliefs and attitudes of scientists in the past 30 y. Changes in the science-media interface may be expected from the ongoing structural transformation of the public communication system. However, as yet, there is little evidence of an erosion of the dominant orientation toward the public and public communication within the younger generation of scientists.

KEYWORDS:

mass media; science communication; science journalism

PMID:
23940312
PMCID:
PMC3752168
DOI:
10.1073/pnas.1212745110
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center