Previous research as well as anecdotal evidence has tended to focus on the negative aspects of scientists’ media interaction, but today’s survey, based on the responses of 1354 scientists working in the high-profile research fields of epidemiology and stem cell research in the UK, US, France, Germany and Japan, suggests that, for the most part, scientists are comfortable dealing with journalists.
The international team who produced the study asked the scientists how much they had to do with the media, and to evaluate their interactions with them, including whether they were ‘misquoted’ by ‘biased’ journalists, or whether they were able to ‘get their message out’.
Across the countries under study, scientist-journalist interactions were found not to be the province of a small set of scientific ‘media stars’ but an activity broadly rooted in the scientific community; nearly two thirds of the respondents had been interviewed by journalists at least once in the last three years, while nearly one in three reported more than five media contacts over the same period.
Key findings of the survey included:
• Increasing the public’s perception of science was the most important benefit mentioned by scientists as an incentive to interact with the media, with 93% indicating that achieving ‘a more positive public attitude towards research’ was an important motivator;
• However, lack of control of media outcomes remains an issue for many scientists, with nine in 10 respondents identifying the ‘risk of incorrect quotation’ as an important disincentive.
"Previous studies of the science-media interface mostly focused on the question why this relationship of scientists and journalists is so difficult. Our results now say you should turn the question around,” says Professor Hans Peter Peters, of the Forschungszentrum Jülich near Cologne, who led the study.
“We need to ask why the relationship is so smooth, given the well-known differences in the professional cultures of science and journalism, possible conflicts of interest, and the meaning changes that take place when scientific messages enter the mass media."
Professor Steve Miller, UCL Department of Science and Technology Studies, a team member on the study, says: “As well as working on science communication, I also go to scientific research conferences. And I have often heard researchers tell stories of someone they know having a bad time with the media. So I was really surprised when our survey showed that, actually, biomedical researchers on the front line of public interest were largely pleased with their own interactions with journalists and broadcasters. It just goes to show, you should not believe the horror stories; journalists don’t routinely eat scientists for breakfast.”
Dominique Fourniol | alfa
New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)
Reusable carbon nanotubes could be the water filter of the future, says RIT study
30.03.2017 | Rochester Institute of Technology
The world's highest gain high power laser amplifier - by many orders of magnitude - has been developed in research led at the University of Strathclyde.
The researchers demonstrated the feasibility of using plasma to amplify short laser pulses of picojoule-level energy up to 100 millijoules, which is a 'gain'...
Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.
Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....
Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.
The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....
An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.
We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...
Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.
Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...
24.05.2017 | Event News
23.05.2017 | Event News
22.05.2017 | Event News
29.05.2017 | Earth Sciences
29.05.2017 | Life Sciences
29.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy