Public awareness is often a crucial first step towards policy change and resolution of conservation issues because societal values determine whether initiatives gain support. There is evidence that public engagement positively influences civic participation. Therefore, conservation science needs to engage the general public to ensure successful conservation interventions.
News coverage of conservation issues is an important pathway to transfer information to large audiences because it can translate academic research and policy for general audiences. A team of researchers led by the Department of Biological Sciences at the National University of Singapore (NUS) Faculty of Science recently concluded a study to better understand the factors influencing the spread of conservation news in online media.
The research team, led by Ms Le Nghiem of the NUS Department of Biological Sciences and Dr Sarah Papworth, who was formerly with the Department and is now with the Royal Holloway University of London, discovered that news sites have the greatest impact on how popular an online article will be on Facebook and Twitter. They found that online news articles about climate change or charismatic mammals and those with illustrations were more likely to be shared or liked on Facebook and Twitter.
Their findings also revealed that five per cent of articles in conservation journals are reported in online news with the probability of reporting largely depending on the journal as opposed to the topic of the article. The results of their study were published in Conservation Biology in January 2015.
The team sampled research articles published from 2011 to 2013 in the eight journals with the highest impact factor in the biodiversity conservation category on Web of Science, as well as open-access journals that publish research on conservation and conservation articles in the highest impact multidisciplinary journals. They assessed differences in the frequency in which conservation research is featured in online news sites and the impact of online conservation news content and delivery on Facebook likes and shares and Twitter tweets.
Explaining the importance of understanding the spread of online news, Ms Le Nghiem, one of the lead authors, said, “To ensure successful conservation interventions, there is a need to engage the general public. Although online technologies such as Twitter and Facebook offer new opportunities to accelerate communication between conservation scientists and the online public, factors influencing the spread of conservation news in online media are not well understood. This study aims to fill this knowledge gap.”
“Conservation scientists could use these new findings to choose appropriate online media channels to communicate with the public and increase the awareness and effectiveness of their efforts,” added Assistant Professor David Bickford, one of the co-authors of the paper.
The researchers argue that in addition to scientists, policy makers and the public, news media should be considered a fourth sector in the conservation process — one that does not passively transmit information but whose actors have their own motivations. When these motivations align with those of conservation scientists, news media offers opportunities to rapidly disseminate academic research and policy to potentially large audiences.
The generation of online content is not, however, sufficient to engage the online public. Therefore, linking online news articles about research to online platforms such as Twitter and Facebook could encourage greater interaction.
Phone: +65 6516 5399
Carolyn Fong | newswise
High Number of Science Enthusiasts in Switzerland
05.02.2018 | Universität Zürich
Between filter bubbles, uneven visibility and transnationality
06.12.2017 | Schweizerischer Nationalfonds SNF
Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.
The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...
Stable joint cartilage can be produced from adult stem cells originating from bone marrow. This is made possible by inducing specific molecular processes occurring during embryonic cartilage formation, as researchers from the University and University Hospital of Basel report in the scientific journal PNAS.
Certain mesenchymal stem/stromal cells from the bone marrow of adults are considered extremely promising for skeletal tissue regeneration. These adult stem...
In the fight against cancer, scientists are developing new drugs to hit tumor cells at so far unused weak points. Such a “sore spot” is the protein complex...
In an article that appears in the journal “Review of Modern Physics”, researchers at the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (LAP) assess the current state of the field of ultrafast physics and consider its implications for future technologies.
Physicists can now control light in both time and space with hitherto unimagined precision. This is particularly true for the ability to generate ultrashort...
The Atlantic overturning – one of Earth’s most important heat transport systems, pumping warm water northwards and cold water southwards – is weaker today than any time before in more than 1000 years. Sea surface temperature data analysis provides new evidence that this major ocean circulation has slowed down by roughly 15 percent since the middle of the 20th century, according to a study published in the highly renowned journal Nature by an international team of scientists. Human-made climate change is a prime suspect for these worrying observations.
“We detected a specific pattern of ocean cooling south of Greenland and unusual warming off the US coast – which is highly characteristic for a slowdown of the...
13.04.2018 | Event News
12.04.2018 | Event News
09.04.2018 | Event News
19.04.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering
19.04.2018 | Life Sciences
18.04.2018 | Materials Sciences