“I want to, but there is no time!” – a Swedish survey on researchers’ views on communication

Author: Gustav Bohlin – Public & Science (VA), Sweden


  • Martin Bergman – Public & Science (VA), Sweden

Communication between researchers and society is vital for research to have a societal impact. Nowadays, researchers are increasingly expected to engage in communication activities involving non-scientist audiences. Although there have been a large quantity of studies on knowledge, interest and confidence in research among the general public, less is known about the researchers’ own views on communicating their work with the outside world. This paper will present findings from a large-scale survey conducted among 3,699 researchers in Sweden during 2019. The large sample allows comparisons to be made among subgroups based on gender, area of research, age or career stage. The study was a joint venture between the non-profit organisation Public & Science (VA) and five Swedish research funding organisations. Questions in the survey include, for example, perceived barriers and type of support needed to engage in communication activities. Another topic in the survey is the researchers’ awareness of the nature of support they can receive from communication professionals in their organisation. For further insights on this topic, a separate survey with communication officers (n=169) in Sweden was also conducted. Together, the results provide a base for an informed discussion on how to stimulate communication between researchers and society in general.

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Presentation type: Individual paper
Theme: Time