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Bauer M.W., Bucchi M. Journalism, Science and Society. Science Communication between News and Public Relations

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Bauer M.W., Bucchi M. Journalism, Science and Society. Science Communication between News and Public Relations
Издательство Taylor & Francis Group, 2008, -299 pp.
We started this project some years ago when the BC and the CRUI — Conference of Italian University Chancellors—offered an opportunity for joint activities on science communication. We called a meeting in May 2003, on some beautiful spring days in the northern Italian Trentino, and invited a group of Italian and British science journalists to discuss issues and trends in their daily practice, asking them to reflect, in particular through case studies, on their own criteria for ‘success’ and ‘failure’ in science writing. The positive experience encouraged us to call a second meeting, with the support of the same sponsors. This time we invited voices from the public relations departments of scientific institutions. A handful of Italian and British professionals arrived for the weekend in Trento in May 2005, and some academic colleagues joined for the discussions. Again the proceedings were rich in detail and more questions were raised, so we decided to expand the discussions for the purpose of this book beyond daily newspapers and the geographical scope of Italy and the UK. The basic idea was to juxtapose, in the fi eld of science communication, the worlds of science journalism and public relations, each with its own modus operandi, rules of engagement, and quality criteria, established but changing for science journalism, newly emerging for science PR. How are these two practices interacting? How is this interaction changing the overall framework of science communication? Are there significant discontinuities with regard to the past? The resulting book investigates two main scenarios:
S1: The increasing private patronage of scientific research changes the nature of science communication by displacing the logic of journalistic reportage with the logic of corporate promotion.
S2: Scientific institutions increasingly adopt the strategies and tactics of corporate communication for image, reputation, and product management.
For this purpose, the book has a ‘symmetrical’ design in four parts. In the first part we trace the changing contexts of science communication in the second half of the twentieth century, complemented by two chapters which extend our horizon into 1930s Britain and late nineteenth century Italy. Science communication itself has a history of actors and practices in changing contexts. The second part gives voice to professional science writers and invites critical reflections on changing operational rules in their field. Part III brings in the public relation professionals, who again, through case study and critical reflection, demonstrate their emerging rules of engagement. Finally, part IV invites commentaries from around the globe. Experts in science communication from Japan, Korea, Australia, South Africa, and the USA comment on the case studies and ask the question: Are the issues raised global or local?
We will provide a brief overview of the book’s contents to guide the reader and end with some comments on the boundaries of the present argument.
Introduction and a guidance for the reader
Insects or neutrons? Science news values in interwar Britain
The rise and fall of science communication in late nineteenth century Italy
From journalism to corporate communication in post-war Britain
Big science, little news: Science coverage in the Italian daily press, 1946–1997
Growing, but foreign source dependent: Science coverage in Latin America
The latest boom in popular science books
Science writing: Practitioners’ perspectives
Scheherazade: Telling stories, not educating people
The sex appeal of scientific news
Science stories that cannot be told
Science reporting as negotiation
Why journalists report science as they do
How the Internet changed science journalism
The end of science journalism
Public relations for science: Practitioners’ perspectives
The Royal Society and the debate on climate change
PR for the physics of matter: Tops…and flops
Communication by scientists or stars?
A PR strategy without a PR office?
Public engagement of science in the private sector: A new form of PR?
The strength of PR and the weakness of science journalism
The use of scientific expertise for political PR: The ‘Doсana’ and ‘Prestige’ cases in Spain
International commentary
United States: Focus on the audience
Australia: Co-ordination and professionalisation
South Africa: Building capacity
South Korea: The scandal of Professor Hwang Woo-Sok
Japan: A boom in science news
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