The role of online video-sharing and online video-sharing platforms for science and technology communication

The role of online video-sharing and online video-sharing platforms for science and technology communication

Author: Joachim Allgaier – RWTH Aachen University, Germany


  • Andrea Geipel – Technical University of Munich and Deutsches Museum Munich, Germany
  • Lê Nguyên Hoang – École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland
  • Craig Rosa – KQED, United States
  • Gianna Savoie – University of Otago, New Zealand

In this roundtable discussion, we are interested in the impact of online video-sharing on the public communication of science and technology. The online video format has great potential for public science and technology communication, but there are also pitfalls and potential problems that need to be thoughtfully reflected upon. One issue we are going to discuss is the role of particular online video-sharing platforms, such as YouTube, Vimeo, and Facebook Watch. YouTube, for instance, now has two billion users worldwide and is the second most popular search engine after Google in many countries. Many citizens around the world use it as a source of information about science and technology issues.

During the discussion, we will explore the production context of online videos about science and technology. Who creates and uploads videos with science and technology content and what are their intentions and purposes for these videos? Another interesting question concerns the differences and similarities between professional, amateur, institutional and other actors who produce online videos about science and technology. We are going to discuss how the different creators of videos about science and technology legitimize themselves and what audiences they want to reach for what reasons. We also would like to know more about the differences in practices and intentions of journalists, YouTubers, scientists, scientific institutions and others when it comes to online video-sharing. Furthermore, we will discuss what kind of video formats, genres, videographic styles etc., are most successful, widespread and adequate for public science communication. Another point that will be discussed with the invited experts is how online videos on science and technology are perceived by various audiences and how these need to be addressed.

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

Presentation type: Roundtable discussion
Theme: Technology