Stakeholders’ perceptions about the quality of science communication

Stakeholders’ perceptions about the quality of science communication

Author: Arko Olesk – Tallinn University, Estonia


  • Berit Renser – Tallinn University, Estonia

Both science communication research and practice often tackle with the question what can be consider good or quality science communication. The answers tend to vary and depend on whether they come from scientists, journalists, science communication scholars or ordinary citizens. Often mentioned points in case of media, for example, include accuracy of reporting scientific facts or quality of the reported study. Others, such as Bucchi (2013) also emphasize the role of style. However, we are still lacking a coherent picture of what is considered quality in science communication.

In our study we explore and visualize how various science communication stakeholders understand and explain quality in science communication. We propose a visual presentation that summarizes the maps that our stakeholders create during special workshops exploring the questions concerning quality.

The workshops are taking place between July and December 2019 in five European countries (UK, Ireland, Italy, Norway and Estonia) as part of the Horizon2020-funded project QUEST (QUality and Effectiveness in Science and Technology communication). Each workshop involves representatives of science communication stakeholders: journalists, researchers, science communicators and citizens. The stakeholders use the Manual Thinking visualization method to collaboratively map the elements of quality in general, in context of specific formats (e.g. social media posts, news articles, museum exhibitions), and for specific cases.

The study is valuable for science communication research and practice because the results are produced co-creatively by the stakeholders, reducing the profession-specific viewpoints that are often a source of tensions. Second, the tool allows to express and understand relationships between the elements of quality. The resulting understanding of quality has the potential to transform both science communication practice and research as well as the relations between them and with the society.

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

Presentation type: Individual paper
Theme: Time