Media relations in science: specifics of media liaisons
The interaction between scientists and media has always been facing severe complications due to:
- disparities in definition of science
- overall science reproach
- insufficient presenting of significance of science achievements
- wrong interpretation of scientific information, i.e. terms, leagues, general logics
- lack of emphasis on practical use and prospects of scientific discoveries and inventions.
Current studies of science to media liaising, based on the work of US researchers Hartz and Chappell, claim that the distance between science and journalism threatens the future in terms of political and economic implications of the science–media interaction. They pointed that scientists and journalists need to find a certain line of communication benefiting both sides and leading to better understanding of science . This should be done through popularization of science by both scientific content sources and those transmitting it to media to later turn to business and general public, namely PR practitioners and press secretaries.
The project is aimed at addressing such questions as how to provide media angles to scientific industries and how to present complicated scientific research and its current and prospective practical outcomes to people.
Popularization of science is seen as a process of adjusting scientific content to the needs of general public, as well as active communication of it through finding media-popular perspective for each particular field or industry. The fields of natural science suffering the most from current situation and chosen for the research, are physics, medicine and math. Russian physicist Prof. Alexey Ustinov, mathematician and physicist Prof. Dmitry Golberg and chemist Dr. Alexander Majouga are the three publicly renowned scientists chosen for message, content and channel analysis for first research on what specifics to take care of primarily. The seen challenges are the following:
- poor media training
- communication of achievements through channels unfriendly to outer environment (mostly purely scientific conferences with no implication to business or public utility)
- lack of media welcomed angles
- limited number of news hooks
- limited format in media.
Media relations in natural sciences are still undeveloped, meaning special media format should be introduced to researchers and scientists.
Supervisor - Alexander Filimonov, PhD
1. Peters, H. (2013). Gap between science and media revisited: Scientists as public communicators. http://www.pnas.org/content/110/Supplement_3/14102.full