Crossing the Boundaries and Re-Inventing Science Communication: The “Prisma Magazine” case study

Crossing the Boundaries and Re-Inventing Science Communication: The “Prisma Magazine” case study

Author: Dimitris Petakos – National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece


  • Lida Arnellou – National Center for Scientific Research “Demokritos” – PhD in Science Communication, Greece
  • Ioannis Kontogiannis – Leibniz-Institut für Astrophysik Potsdam (AIP) – PhD in Astrophysics, Germany
  • Manolis Patiniotis – National and Kapodistrian University of Athens – Professor of History of Science, Greece
  • Dimitris Petakos – National and Kapodistrian University of Athens – PhD in History of Science, Greece

The aim of this paper is to present an approach to science communication, put to practice in the Greek science magazine Prisma. The magazine is published twice a month, as an insert in the daily Greek newspaper Avgi. Its articles are also published online, in the newspaper’s website. It was first published on September 2016. Its editorial team consists of active scientists, historians of science and science communicators. Prisma magazine places special emphasis on the challenges put forth in the new digital era.

During the last two decades, the expansion of digital technologies and their subsequent everyday use by experts and non-experts alike, has resulted in almost equal access to the sources of information. Far from implying that the distinction between experts and non-experts no longer exists, in a practical level it renders the boundaries vague and presents new challenges for science communication. In this new ecosystem, the complexity of scientific endeavor is blown open, creating an overwhelming amount of information and new spaces where knowledge is produced and negotiated.

The Prisma magazine aims to highlight the complexity of factors in the production of knowledge. This is why tha magazine approaches science and technology as complex human endeavors with ever-changing boundaries. The magazine focuses in (i) the historical and anthropological dimensions of knowledge production (ii) the political, economic and social factors at play, (iii) the hidden aspects of research, such as failures and the pressure to publish, and (iv) the challenges of interdisciplinarity, as well as the intersection of science, technology and arts. In this paper, we will present specific examples from Prisma magazine articles related to the above issues and try to evaluate how such an approach may work in an era where citizens acquire direct access to research results and the boundaries between experts and non-experts tend to dissolve.

The author has not yet submitted a copy of the full paper.

Presentation type: Insight talk
Theme: Transformation