Report on incentive and disincentive structures for R&I stakeholders to engage in science communication

Roedema Tessa; Rerimassie Virgil; Kupper Frank

The contemporary science communication ecosystem is complex: science and society meet each other at
multiple interfaces, communication takes place in multiple directions and moreover, the different actors may
have widely differing ideologies and assumptions. In addition, digitalization is intensifying the – already
complex – dynamics in this ecosystem fundamentally. At the same time, digitalization also offers novel
possibilities for scientists and scientific institutions to communicate and engage with the public and other
stakeholders, and henceforth contribute to a better science-society relationship. Against this backdrop, this
study aims to examine what motivates scientists to engage with the public through the internet and online
media, and what holds them back herein.

Analysis of the status quo and demands for science communication training

Fähnrich, Birte

WP 3.1 provides an overview of academic science communication programs in four RETHINK partnering countries (UK, the Netherlands, Portugal, Italy) and Russia to analyze how available programs cope with the challenges of the “new” complex and digitalized communication environments. Based on a small sample study of 12 programs we show that science communication education is adapting promisingly to the new science communication landscape and related changes, and aims at teaching the students a profound understanding of the complexities of the new science communication dynamics. Programs largely implement content about digitalization and recent developments in their programs, although they rate their importance differently. However, related risks of science communication online are only taught to some extent, by encouraging students´ critical thinking about sources of information and interaction processes between communicators. We identified that most programs assess science communicator roles in line with co-creation and interaction with the public, but some programs also imply more traditional communicator roles of information disseminators. We can conclude that programs, overall, aim at providing their graduates with specific knowledge, competences and attitudes that will help them to serve as professional communicators in an increasingly complex science communication environment. However, further research is needed to assess how programs can ideally implement modules to convey the challenges of digitalization successfully to students. 

Scoping Report on the Science Communication Ecosystem

Ridgway, Andy

Data collector(s)

Milani, Elena; Roedema, Tessa F. L.; Doedens, Mariël; Mazzonetto, Marzia; Sielicka-Baryłka, Klara; Lobo Antunes, Joana; Bohlin, Gustav; Bergman, Martin

The Scoping Report on the Science Communication Ecosystem represents an attempt to map the diversity of actors and the content they produce. The research conducted allows comparisons of the online science communication landscapes in different European countries (Italy, the Netherlands, the UK, Sweden, Poland, Serbia and Portugal) and has a broad focus; not only including the work of professional science communicators but also ‘alternative’ science communicators.