A well-nursed prejudice in scholarly communication is that researchers avoid journalists and are disappointed with the coverage when they do have contact with the media.
A current study in the specialist journal "Science" shows the opposite to be true: more than half of the researchers questioned described their contact with journalists as predominantly good. Four out of ten found coverage in the public-sector beneficial to their career. The idea of the "ivory tower of science" can therefore no longer be upheld.
"The second prejudice we need to dispense with is that German researchers tend to find dealing with journalists more difficult and are less motivated to report on their research in the public sphere than their colleagues in the USA", said head of the study Prof. Hans Peter Peters from Forschungszentrum Jülich, a member of the Helmholtz Association.
The number of interactions with the media was similarly high in all of the countries investigated. More than two thirds of the researchers had contact with the media over a period of three years. Their experience in all of the countries was also positive. "The main reason for the similarity in this pattern can be seen in the social need for a public legitimation of science."
The fact that media presence and management positions clearly go hand-in-hand also backs up this point. "Being a leading researcher now requires a readiness to liaise with the mass media", explained Peters. This can be construed from the clear correlation between the number of contacts with the media and those holding management positions. "In other words, it is not left up to the discretion of each scientist as to whether they want to forge links with the media", explained Peters. "In certain positions and situations, it is expected of them. Subjective attitudes only play a secondary role."
The study which has now been published is the first comprehensive international survey of scientists in the world on this topic. It was conducted by Forschungszentrum Jülich and partners in France, the United Kingdom, Japan, and the USA. The sample consisted of around 1,350 biomedical researchers from the five largest science nations who produced at least two pertinent publications in their field between 2002 and 2004. For reasons of comparability, all of those interviewed were selected from two clearly defined fields of research - epidemiology and stem-cell research.
Along with the scientists from Forschungszentrum Jülich, well-known researchers from the University of Wisconsin, University College London, the French Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique and Kansai University Osaka also took part in this study. The Federal Ministry of Education and Research financed the study within the framework of the funding initiative "Knowledge for decision-making processes - Research on the relationship between science, politics and society" (07 SPR 30).Article:
Peter Schäfer | Forschungszentrum Jülich
Drought hits rivers first and more strongly than agriculture
06.09.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Biogeochemie
Landslides triggered by human activity on the rise
23.08.2018 | European Geosciences Union
The building blocks of matter in our universe were formed in the first 10 microseconds of its existence, according to the currently accepted scientific picture. After the Big Bang about 13.7 billion years ago, matter consisted mainly of quarks and gluons, two types of elementary particles whose interactions are governed by quantum chromodynamics (QCD), the theory of strong interaction. In the early universe, these particles moved (nearly) freely in a quark-gluon plasma.
This is a joint press release of University Muenster and Heidelberg as well as the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung in Darmstadt.
Then, in a phase transition, they combined and formed hadrons, among them the building blocks of atomic nuclei, protons and neutrons. In the current issue of...
Thin-film solar cells made of crystalline silicon are inexpensive and achieve efficiencies of a good 14 percent. However, they could do even better if their shiny surfaces reflected less light. A team led by Prof. Christiane Becker from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) has now patented a sophisticated new solution to this problem.
"It is not enough simply to bring more light into the cell," says Christiane Becker. Such surface structures can even ultimately reduce the efficiency by...
A study in the journal Bulletin of Marine Science describes a new, blood-red species of octocoral found in Panama. The species in the genus Thesea was discovered in the threatened low-light reef environment on Hannibal Bank, 60 kilometers off mainland Pacific Panama, by researchers at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama (STRI) and the Centro de Investigación en Ciencias del Mar y Limnología (CIMAR) at the University of Costa Rica.
Scientists established the new species, Thesea dalioi, by comparing its physical traits, such as branch thickness and the bright red colony color, with the...
Scientists have succeeded in observing the first long-distance transfer of information in a magnetic group of materials known as antiferromagnets.
An international team of researchers has mapped Nemo's genome, providing the research community with an invaluable resource to decode the response of fish to...
21.09.2018 | Event News
03.09.2018 | Event News
27.08.2018 | Event News
21.09.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
21.09.2018 | Life Sciences
21.09.2018 | Event News