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EUPRIO 2012 -- Science Communication Megatrends -- A. Gerber, innokomm

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Alexander Gerber

on 21 February 2016

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Transcript of EUPRIO 2012 -- Science Communication Megatrends -- A. Gerber, innokomm

Disruptive changes through
social media
in PR, science journalism, and scientific communication





Promising ways towards a scientific citizenship through a transparent open and citizen science with the opportunity for a renewed
culture of communication





Fundamental changes both in self-perception and in
qualification
requirements for science communicators in their new role as mediators





Obstacles of a change-resistant
scientific system
which hardly incentivises real outreach. Challenge: How do we measure or norm the impact of communication?
1
Gand Challenges
and

Future Trends

in

Science Communication

Alexander Gerber
a.gerber@innokomm.eu
@innokomm
Managing Director
German Research Center
for Science & Innovation Communication
EUPRIO 2012
Gothenburg, 7th September 2012
European Universities Public Relations and Information Officers

Usage of
Standard Web 2.0 Tools
in German Academia
http://wissenschaftskommunikation.info
Online Survey
2010/2011
German scientists publish...
95%
in print journals
3%
in blogs (0,5% actively) n=664

Exchange happens...
96%
personally
94%
by e-mail
56%
via mailing lists
6%
via wikis
4%
via blogs
5%
via Researchgate, Facebook, etc.
2%
via Twitter
Bader, A. et al. (2012): Digitale Wissenschaftskommunikation 2010-2011. Eine Online-Befragung. Giessener Elektronische Bibliothek: Linguistische Untersuchungen 04/2012
http://geb.uni-giessen.de/geb/volltexte/2012/8539
Maturity of online PR across Europe:
Guidelines, Monitoring, KPIs und Training
Technology
enables & requires...
...true
transparency
.
Trust
also increases...
...the
responsibilities
of:
Transparency
can increase...
...
credibility & authenticity
.
Credibility
over time leads to...
...public

trust.
Transparency
Credibility
Trust
...journalists:
to embrace evidence-
based reporting
to re-think the
dissemination
deadlock
to admit uncertainty
instead of taking sides
to incentivise open
science and real
outreach
to find measurements
and offer training
to adapt to new
media paradigms
...PR:
...scientists:
...policy makers:
...SciComm scholars:
...the system:
...education:
to prepare the ground
for science literacy
Mass media
NGOs
Science
Politics
Enterprises
NGOs
Science
Politics
Mass media
Enterprises
Information Behaviour in Germany
(on activated demand)
IfD Allensbach, AWA 2000 / AWA 2011
Sold Circulation of German
Popular Science Magazines
http://wk-trends.de
Horizontalisation

of Communication

Democratisation

of Decision-making
Responsibilities
Paradimatic Changes in Communication
N.B.
Should they?
Do they want to?
Can they?
May they?
http://wk-trends.de
31 Science editors / publishers
82 freelance science journalists / bloggers
101 science PR / science marketing
37 science education / events / museums
20 sciencecomm scholars / consultants
55 researchers / scholars
Trends
Post
-
PUSH

Only new ways can
leave new tracks.
Only new ways can
leave new tracks.
Following behind only adds
to the cloud of dust of the others.
Alexander Gerber
a.gerber@innokomm.eu
@innokomm
Managing Director
German Research Center for
Science & Innovation Communication
Following behind only adds
to the cloud of dust of the others.
Research Project SMS
(Social Media in Science)
Online Survey
2012 (n=617) | 30 in-depth
interviews
|
web analyses
of 9 institutions
German scientists...
know only
very few of the specialised tools
(from 35,8 % publicity of
ResearchGate
to 16,1 % of
Slideshare
)

dislike
most of the tools they know (
Twitter

80,5%
etc.)

are not more likely to
use
tools only because
they
know
them better (e.g.
iTunesUniversity

twice as unpopular as
ResearchGate,
even
though just as well known)

explicitly express a demand for
training

(e.g.
73,7 %
in "social media")
http://innokomm.eu/forschung/open-science/SMS
Results yet unpublished
Should they?

Do they want to?
Can they?

May they?
KÖNNEN
DÜRFEN
SOLLEN
WOLLEN
...if the communication
culture
serves more than just the
legitimisation
of public funding!
The Research Agenda
Challenges: less
technological
than
cultural and systemic

Systemic: focus less on the
tools
/ their application or diffusion but on new forms of
impact measurement
and
outreach recognition

Cultural:
societal participation
in knowledge-creation as an opportunity for progess

We cannot possibly permeate
“Open Science”

under
closed paradigms!
«
»
»Social Contract«
Miller, J. D. (2012).
The sources and impact of civic scientific literacy. In: M. Bauer et al. The culture of science.
pp. 217-240. New York: Routledge.
Paolo's Request for a
vs.
Civic Scientific
Literacy

Dissatisfying!
Higher education institutions have signed a
social contract
between themselves and society at large.

Currently, universities seem to have true
difficulties to convince the general public

of the importance of this contract for society.

Are we
ready to pick up the challenges
that the social contract implies?

Playing a muted role make universities
an
easy prey
for goverments reducing
state deficits.
Science journalism
is moving from classical storytelling
and translating to moderating and investigating.

The huge demand in social media consulting and training in
science PR
is a clear sign for an upcoming second wave of professionalisation among communicators.

Scientists
witness paradigmatic shifts both in expectations as well as in self-perception. Public Science and Open Science will increasingly flatten scientific hierarchies
(sharing vs. status).
From Dissemination to Deliberation
2
3
4
If we are serious about involving the entire spectrum of civil society in terms of a „
Scientific Citizenship
“, we need to abandon our main focus on
research results
. New formats will switch more
authentically
between results- and process-oriented perspectives.

Science PR / media / education have to make the
relativeness
of the knowledge they create more transparent. New media can serve as an enabling technology for this approach.
Towards a Scientific Citizen
Sustainable science communication in the fifth development stage already exceeds previous approaches of a "
packaging industry
".

The communicator's performance will increasingly be measured by whether he succeeds in assembling the pieces of the
transdisciplinary puzzle
within the institution, instead of merely dissemininating project results or cultivating the brand.

In lieu of squeezing news through narrowing information channels, PR will need to "
agenda-surf
" on socio-political waves. As a consequence of PR professionalisation it is becoming increasingly important to communicate
cooperatively
.
Upskill for the Dialogue
Today's
criteria
for research funding, evaluation, and the appointment of senior positions mostly disregard communication achievements. New systems of
incentivising outreach
to the lay public will be considered. Such catalysts will forster a broad change in communications culture.

Hereby one of the major challenges and success factors lies in the ability to
measure and compare
communication performance. This will lead to a debate about norming and standardising these new measurements. For the short-term specific
communication audits
will be sufficient.
Preconditions for a Change
Within the "
social contract
" trust is:

- the ultimate source of
solidarity

- a precondition for constructing
acceptance
of controversial research areas and new technologies
Our Kind of
Change
is
disruptive
"Dagen H" (H day / "Högertrafikomläggningen")
3rd September 1967
unpopular change
massive preparations: traffic signals wrapped in black plastic; white lines painted on the roads covered with black tape; reconstruction of bus stops; tram lines withdrawn and replaced by buses; old Gothenburg busses exported to Pakistan and Kenya...
How many reported traffic accidents?
How many reported traffic accidents?
(compared to a range of 130 to 198 for previous Mondays)
(compared to a range of 130 to 198 for previous Mondays)
125
Change looses its fright
if you are prepared!
Change looses its fright
if you are prepared!
Full transcript