Science and the Media -Alternative Routes in Scientific Communication
Author: Massimiano Bucchi
Master eBook ISBN10 : 0-203-06487-9
Master eBook ISBN13 : 978-0-203-06487-0
No of pages : 208
eBook Price : $193
Originally Published : 6 Aug 1998
In the days of global warming and BSE, science is increasingly a public issue. But what should scientists communicate to the general public? To what extent can the public understand and be involved in scientific debate? How does this involvement affect the shaping and organization of scientific activity? Why do scientists sometimes turn to the media and publicize their findings rather than communicating their findings only with their peers?
Science and the Media provides a theoretical framework which conclusively answers all these questions and allows us to understand why and how scientists address the general public. In the first part of his work, Massimiano Bucchi reviews the existing literature in this field and highlights the pitfalls of current approaches. He then develops his core argument that turning to the public is not simply a response to inaccurate reporting by journalists or to public curiosity, nor to a wish to gain recognition and additional funding. Rather, it is a tactic to which the scientific community are pushed by certain ''internal'' crisis situations. The third part of this work examines three cases of scientists turning to the public: the cold fusion case, the COBE/Big Bang issue and Louis Pasteur's public demonstration of the anthrax vaccine, a historical case of ''public science''. Finally, Bucchi presents his unique model of communications between science and the public, carried out through the media.
This is a thoughtful and wide-ranging treatment of complex contemporary issues, touching upon the history and sociology of science, communication and media studies. Bucchi's theories on scientific communication in the media are a valuable contribution to the current debate on this subject.