Scicomm Framework Roles

Roles and repertoires

There is no one single objective way of communicating, which is why communicators inevitably need to choose between different potential roles to play in different contexts. The term role describes a characterization of the activities of an individual engaged in science communication (Pielke, 2007). Depending on which role a communicator plays, the communicator draws on different repertoires representing a certain perspective on the relation between knowledge production and use as well as a set of work-related activities that complement these (Turnhout et. al, 2013). Science communicators mainly play the roles of:

1. Conduits: Explaining or translating science from experts to non-specialists.

2. Convenors: Bringing together scientists and non-specialists to discuss science-related issues.

3. Civic educators: Informing non-specialists about methods, aims and limits of their scientific work.

4. Watchdogs: holding scientists, industry and political organizations to scrutiny.