Tuesday 4th Feb, 11:00 am
Research in science communication
We explored the interaction between science, public media channels and society in an evolving media landscape. We examined this interaction in three dimensions; scientists’ personal use of public media channels to follow news and information about scientific issues; their assessment of the impact of scientific information in these channels on public opinion about science; and their assessment of the impact of such information on science-related decisions made by policymakers. We conducted an online survey with scientific researchers based at an Australian institution.
Our results show that few Australian scientists source information about scientific issues from print media, differing from media use in the general Australian population. Australian scientists do not consume a lot of news and information about science in comparison to scientists surveyed in previous studies in the US and Germany. There was a difference in demographic consumption of media where those under 40 were more likely to use blogs and social networks. Scientists expected the general public and policymakers to use print, online and social media channels more often than they do, and they perceived these audiences to be susceptible to influence by media channels.