Pros, cons, and multiple roles of press releases communicating science
Analysis of press releases posted at the international, online science news service EurekAlert! between 1996 and 2016 show an overall skewed picture of science as medicalized, elitarianized and Americanized. With EurekAlert! as the most widely used science news source globally this means that large parts of the research conducted at comprehensive universities never get the attention of the public.
This seminar presents results from a PhD project that investigated how universities use press releases to communicate science as well of the scientific institution. The study concluded that the widespread and increasing use of academic press releases in international science communication affect power relations in science and resources for public constructs of science in unfavorable ways for most parties involved. Especially the close links to the scientific publication process and the criteria for journalistic newsworthiness, that drive this communication practice, pose problems for how society come to perceive science.
Based on the participants own experience with press releases, the aim of this seminar is to share best practice and discuss pros and cons of the use of press releases to communicate internationally.
Besides working as a communications advisor and manager of a news team in Copenhagen, Charlotte has spent the past five years conducting a part time PhD in science communication at the University of Southern Denmark. The thesis “Academic press releases caught between theory and practice – Making sense of a contested science communication practice” were submitted in August. Before Charlotte began her career as a university communication officer in 2006, she worked as weather presenter and science communicator at public television for eight years.
@CharlotteAutzen tweets about science communication