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Scicomm in Latin America: Perspectives from Brazil

BY Sofía Villa The year 2020 was very challenging in many aspects, also for Science Communication that has to struggle in the chaotic relationship between science and society in the middle of a pandemic. For talking about this and the perspectives of the field in Brazil, I spoke with Luisa Massarani on the most visible authorities in Brazilian scicomm. Massarani is a journalist, coordinator for Latin American of SciDev.Net, of the master on Science Communication at House of Oswaldo Cruz and the National Brazilian Institute of Public Communication of Science and Technology. Luisa, do you think that the Covid pandemic changes somehow the communication of science and the relation between science and society in Latin America?  As the World Health Organisation has been highlighting, fake news and misinformation can spread as quickly as the SARS-CoV-2 and can be as harmful as this virus. In Latin America, we have been flooded with misinformation and fake news – meanwhile, 900,000 deaths were
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How online public challenge Chinese scientists’ authority

BY Zheng Yang, PhD Scientists are always considered the only ‘legitimate’ communicators in the online science communication process, especially in the Chinese context where science and scientists enjoy very lofty social status with their discourse authority. However, the digital media environment and the public - who are good at taking advantages of such an environment - are changing this phenomenon. Through a long-term online ethnography on Zhihu (the biggest Chinese knowledge-sharing network), it has been found that about 61.8% of scientific questions around the topic of genetically modified food were answered by non-scientists users, which are also called ‘citizen science communicators’. Those answers provided by citizen science communicators also received many likes and comments. It indicates that also other users have accepted them on Zhihu as ‘science communicators. In other words on Zhihu, the Chinese online knowledge-sharing network, scientists are no longer the only ‘legitima

Finding the style of science communication

BY Sofía Villa From Galileo’s observation until the first flight on Mars...all scientific milestones needed a catchy and clear way to be communicated to reach the public. This “style” is the subject of the mini-course "Style in Science Communication" created by Massimiano Bucchi, Professor at the University of Trento, and Jordan Collver, freelance illustrator, comic artist, and science communicator. Both of them work together to create the illustrated cards of the mini-course for  Lifeology.    scenes on our SciComm Program course "Style in Science Communication" with @MassiBucchi and @JordanCollver ! What does it mean for #scicomm to have style, and why is that an important signal of its quality? #scicomm #sciart #SciArtTweetStorm — Lifeology (@LifeologyApp) April 7, 2021 To know more about this experience, I interviewed professor Bucchi (who is also the Director of the SciComm Master) about exploring new

How to publish an academic paper in science communication

Publishing in a prestigious international journal such as Public Understanding of Science and JCOM, Journal of Science Communication is indeed a desire of researchers in science communication around the globe. Less obvious, however, mainly for the enthusiastic new generation of young researchers, are the editors' choice criteria, and what can increase the chances of their papers get published. Having this in mind, we prepared a video, part of the series of “The science of science communication”, we invited Hans Peter Peters, editor-in-Chief of Public Understanding of Science, and Emma Weitkamp, editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Science Communication, to give us tips about getting published in those journals. The video was produced by the Brazilian Institute of Public Communication of Science and Technology. Luisa Massarani

Science Communication Research: Past Patterns and Future Perspectives

BY Alexander Gerber  Just like other research fields coming of age, science communication may ask itself which patterns have characterised its development over the past decades, which topics and methodologies were particularly often used, and what this can tell us about the strengths and weaknesses of the research field. An in-depth empirical analysis has explored exactly these questions. The results were recently published as a book, which also comprises reflections by the world’s leading science communication scholars about the field’s future needs and perspectives.  The study triangulates a bibliometric and content analysis of approx. 3,000 journal papers with a multi-stage panel study and a review of grey literature spanning four decades. Quantitative findings from the journal analysis (e.g. about disciplinary contexts or topics, research methods, data analysis techniques used) were discussed by a panel of 36 science communication researchers in a multi-stage series of qualitative

Free Book Webinar. Newton's Chicken: Science in the Kitchen

On January 14th at 2 p.m. GMT, Massimiano Bucchi, Professor of Science and Technology in Society, University of Trento, will discuss and answer questions about his new book, Newton's Chicken: Science in the kitchen  World Science Publishing. This highly rigorous, yet original and entertaining publication provides a surprising account of the relationship between gastronomy and scientific research. Why has science forcefully entered the kitchen from a certain moment in history? Why do scientists often use images and metaphors drawn from gastronomy? What is the common thread that connects scientific experiments to mouth-watering recipes? What has futurist cooking got in common with molecular gastronomy? Experiments with coffee, controversies over beer and chocolate recipes guarded as if they were secret patents are the ingredients of this original, surprising account of the intersections between gastronomy and research, between laboratories and kitchens. To join us on Thursday 14 Janu

Academic freedom under threat

By  Esa Väliverronen Problems with academic freedom and scientists’ freedom of expression have been increasingly debated in the academia recently. Restrictions to the freedom of inquiry and the public expression of researchers have become more prominent all over the world, and researchers have not remained silent anymore. According to the recent report Free to think by Scholars at Risk, published in late November 2020, “(a)ttacks on scholars, students, staff, and their institutions occur with alarming frequency. Around the world,   state and non-state actors, including armed militants and extremist groups, police and military forces, government authorities, off-campus groups, and even members of higher education communities, among others, carry these attacks.”   In many countries, pressures on academic communities around the world have increased as a result of the   COVID-19 pandemic . Scholars at Risk lists only the most severe violations against scientists and experts, such as