Questioning scripts of science communication

Questioning scripts of science communication

Author: Nina Amelung

Citizen science, science magazines or science slams all come along with particular scripts about what science and what publics are, how science should be communicated and publics should get engaged. Scripts guide action, they guide specific performances, actor roles or procedures. People act according to explicit or even agreed upon scripts, but also to scripts which rather remain implicit (for instance following specific feeling rules or aesthetic rules).

Since science communication requires purposefully creating spaces and processes scripts prefigure interaction orders for experts and lay persons, science journalists and readers, curators and visitors. We are interested in those scripts which imply specific imaginaries and worldviews of science and the public(s).

We are interested in the processes of how scripting takes place in designing science communication, what outcomes are produced and how to face ambiguities and conflicts resulting from unintended effects of scripts. The following questions will be discussed: What “type of science” and what specific “public(s)” are facilitated by selected methods, strategies and genres of science communication? How to deal with conflicts and unintended effects resulting from scripts in practice? Does reflexivity about often implicit value decisions in designing and planning communicative processes make a difference for the practice of science communication?

The panel follows the purpose of making the implicit notions and normative implications of scripts visible to make them accessible to reflexive analysis and evaluation of public communication of science and technology.

  • Dorothea Born, Universität Wien. Visual scripts in popular science magazines: A comparison between GEO and National Geographic
  • Barbara Hendricks, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. Science and justification patterns: How economic rationality prescribes science communication
  • David Marçal, Associação Viver a Ciência, Lisbon. Scripts about the boundaries of science: science communication and pseudoscience
  • Lisa Pettibone, Museum für Naturkunde Berlin. Using scripts to build respect: Experiences from citizen science