Scientists in the public sphere: Interactions of scientists and journalists in Brazil

LUISA MASSARANI HANS P. PETERS About the authors

ABSTRACT

In order to map scientists' views on media channels and explore their experiences interacting with journalists, the authors conducted a survey of about 1,000 Brazilian scientists. Results indicate that scientists have clear and high expectations about how journalists should act in reporting scientific information in the media, but such expectations, in their opinion, do not always seem to be met. Nonetheless, the results show that surveyed scientists rate their relation with the media positively: 67% say that having their research covered by media has a positive impact on their colleagues. One quarter of the respondents expressed that talking to the media can facilitate acquisition of more funds for research. Moreover, 38% of the total respondents believe that writing about an interesting topic for release on media channels can also facilitate research publication in a scientific journal. However, 15% of the respondents outright agree that research reported in the media beforehand can threaten acceptance for publication by a scientific journal. We hope that these results can foster some initiatives for improving awareness of the two cultures, scientists and journalists; increasing the access of journalists to Brazilian scientific endeavors; stimulating scientists to communicate with the public via social networks.

Key words:
Brazil; Interactions of scientists and journalists; Public communication of science and technology; Science communication; Science journalism

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