Public Communication of Science: Trust and credibility in the eyes of the public

Public Communication of Science: Trust and credibility in the eyes of the public

Author: Giuseppe Pellegrini – Observa Science in Society, Italy


  • Ana Delicado – ICS University of Lisbon, Portugal
  • Carolina Moreno Castro – University of Valencia, Spain
  • Andrea Rubin – Università di Bergamo, Italy

The results of the International CONCISE project regarding channels and sources of communication.

In this roundtable we provide and discuss an overview of the main results collected through five Public Consultations carried out within the Concise European project. 500 citizens of five different countries were involved in discussing four topics on communication: climate change, vaccines, GMO and complementary and alternative medicines.

Our primary aim is to focus on patterns of trust by which EU citizens acquire their science-related knowledge, and how this knowledge influences their beliefs, opinions, and perceptions. In so doing, we take into account the use of channels and sources proposing an analysis of how citizens believe these important elements of the public communication of science to be credible. Furthermore, we propose an analysis of the level of public engagement expressed during consultations and the development of different practices of citizens science.

We aim to provide insight into the complexity of public communication of science and technology and the social and methodological richness that it embodies by highlighting the relevant role of public opinion and public participation. To this end, we propose four dimensions by which to map this rich domain of research: actors, relationship, trust and means. Our concluding argument is that studying these dimensions by observing knowledge, beliefs, opinions and perceptions would do well to combine analytical and normative prerogatives for understanding the recent evolution of public communication of science and technology.

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Presentation type: Individual paper
Theme: Time