Science, Media & the Public

One central characteristic of potential science(s) 2.0 is their relation to the public. Science can only be described and practised as institutionalised and professionalised pursuit of new knowledge through the demarcation of boundaries with other activities or subsystems of society (such as politics, economy or art). By definition that makes the insiders specialists and everybody else a lay, at least regarding the latest research results in discipline XYZ. This large group of outsiders, however diverse it may be, is generally referred to as “the public”. Nowadays, members of this group gain their information on science only in some cases by first-hand experiences. Media play the role as the main two-way communicators – asking the public ‘What about science?’ and scientists ‘What about the public?’ – following their own rules (e.g. news values). Consequently, tracing the specific influences of web 2.0 on scientific communication means examining the relations that these new media are establishing between science and its public(s). A point of departure can be found in Peter Weingart’s work on the mutual penetration of science an mass media…

(Speaking about public, science & media – Einstein on air – Sollen sich auch alle sch├Ąmen! ­čśë

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