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Scientific Sources and the Mass Media: Forms and Consequences of Medialization

  • Hans Peter Peters
Chapter
Part of the Sociology of the Sciences Yearbook book series (SOSC, volume 28)

Abstract

International surveys of biomedical researchers and of public information officers, along with further evidence, show a medialization of science in the interactions of (biomedical) science and journalism. It is argued that this implies the institutionalization, professionalization and strategic utilization of media contacts by scientific sources on the individual and organizational level. Furthermore, the growing importance of the organizational context for the regulation of science-journalism interactions is shown. Driving force for the media orientation of science is the need for public legitimation of science in general and of research organizations in particular, leading to the goal of media visibility, which in turn requires compliance with the expectations of the mass media. Medialization of science has consequences, first, for the kind of public constructs of research advocated by scientific sources which partly reflect the strategic motives underlying the communication approaches by scientists and research organizations’ public relations departments. Second, there is evidence for a wide-spread consideration of “public resonance goals” by scientists in decisions about research. And, third, the demand for public visibility of scientific sources along with the orientation of the mass media at public relevance and values has consequences for the governance of science because it motivates scientific actors to seek – or at least claim – compliance of their research with public expectations.

Keywords

Research Organization Stem Cell Research Public Communication Scientific Norm Media Visibility 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Research Center Jülich

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