Author: Renata Fontanetto – Museu da Vida, Fundação Oswaldo Cruz, Brazil

Luís Amorim – Museu da Vida/ Casa de Oswaldo Cruz/ Fundação Oswaldo Cruz
Marina Ramalho – Museu da Vida/ Casa de Oswaldo Cruz/ Fundação Oswaldo Cruz

Created in 2006, piauí (a monthly magazine) is the most important of the few representatives in Brazil of the literary journalism genre. Science is one of the topics that receives attention within the magazine. Studies on media coverage of science have raised recurrent criticisms, such as: a tendency of overreaction about the results of a research; overemphasis on a positive view of science; stereotyping of scientists’ image, lack of different sources and specialists, little attention given to the social construction of science, as well as other frames like controversy. By its turn, literary journalism is known for investing in long-form narratives, character detailing, contextualizing facts, describing scenes and several other resources (Wolfe, 2005; Pena, 2006). Therefore, by studying piauí’s case, we aimed to understand if literary journalism could somehow tackle some science journalism`s issues. Beyond a content analysis done with 43 science articles, we interviewed one of the founders of piauí, João Moreira Salles (who writes science stories for piauí and who won one of the most important brazilian prizes in journalism for a math article), and the science journalist of the magazine Bernardo Esteves. In the interview with Salles, we could notice that he is a really enthusiast of science, looking at it with curiosity but also with a cheer-leader approach. Esteves, by his turn, has a big background in science communication and science writing. In his words, he considers himself a Bruno Latour follower, questioning science and its truths. Our analysis of the published content and the interviews indicate that their own opinions as writers and journalists shape the way they will tell the story. During our presentation at PCST, we will present some fragments of the interviews, our considerations and some results from the content analysis.

Presentation type: Individual paper
Theme: Stories
Area of interest: Investigating science communication practices