The Conflation of Motives in Science Communication — Causes, Consequences, Remedies

Weingart, P. and Joubert, M. (2019). ‘The conflation of motives of science communication — causes, consequences, remedies’. JCOM: Journal of Science Communication 18 (03), Y01. https://doi.org/10.22323/2.18030401.

Abstract: We explore and discuss the diverse motives that drive science communication, pointing out that political motives are the major driving force behind most science communication programmes including so-called public engagement with science with the result that educational and promotional objectives are blurred and science communication activities are rarely evaluated meaningfully. Since this conflation of motives of science communication and the gap between political rhetoric and science communication practice could threaten the credibility of science, we argue for the restoration of a crucial distinction between two types of science communication: educational/dialogic vs promotional/persuasive.

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