Communicating science, transforming knowledge

Dorothea Born

Popular science magazines are an often-neglected medium in the field of science
communication. While being committed to the scientific community, upholding an
ethos of scientific accuracy, they aim at mediating science and are thus actively
selecting, transforming and recontextualising scientific knowledge. Constituting a
hybrid space of science communication, they continuously (re)draw the boundaries between ‘science’ and a highly educated ‘broader public’ that is co-constructed through the specific communication practices of these magazines.
My paper draws on ethnographic observations at the editorial office of the German popular science magazine GEO. Tracing its production processes I show how editorial members conceptualise science communication and on what notions of science they base their assumptions. This is linked to how GEO’s target audiences are imagined and what kind of scientific literacy is ascribed to them. By approaching these practices through the lens of Science and Technology Studies (STS), this article contributes to an understanding of how popular science magazines produce and communicate knowledge.

Institut für Wissenschafts- und Technikforschung
Anzahl der Seiten
ÖFOS 2012
508016 Wissenschaftskommunikation, 509017 Wissenschaftsforschung, 508009 Medienforschung
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