The RETHINK project is dedicated to research and improve the complex interdependencies of science and society. As part of this research, we are looking at who is writing and talking about science online, whether its scientists, PR-people, journalists, bloggers, vloggers or influencers and how they are doing it. We’re also interested in how members of the public who aren’t experts in science make sense of the science they read or hear about online. And we are trying to figure out whether there is “good” (e.g. trustworthy, reliable and easy to understand) and “bad” (the opposite) science communication and how its quality can be improved.

To make our research results accessible in a simple and easy-to-understand way, we have produced three short videos. We hope you enjoy watching them! 

#1 video: Assessing quality of science communication online

With the science communication landscape changing tremendously, we need to rethink the ways in which we assess quality of science communication online. The video presents results of a study on science communication quality conducted within the RETHINK project.

#2 video: How to reach underserved audiences

When science is communicated, the audiences are mostly white, affluent, with relatively high levels of formal education and a pre-existing interest in science. This means that large parts of society are not being reached by science communication. Within RETHINK, we’re looking for ways to create a closer integration between science and society and this includes a much wider range of people hearing about the latest developments in science and having a say on what research takes place and how. In research led by the Science Communication Unit at UWE Bristol, we asked science communicators across Europe who have already had successes reaching underserved audiences what the secret behind their success is. We identified a number of roles they are adopting that help them communicate with new audiences. You can also read more about our research here:

#3 video: Making sense in Science Communication

The science communication landscape has seen fundamental changes. Online, an overload of information is presented. Moreover, on social communication platforms a wide variety of (new) players reside – and they all add their own facts, values and worldview to the public discussion on science. This has placed a spotlight on the ways in which (individual) citizens make sense of science.

In this video, we present our research into the widely diverse and dynamic ways in which citizens across Europe make sense of the COVID-19 pandemic. You can read more about this research in our report here.