PCST Network

Public Communication of Science and Technology


To be or not to be science

Vanessa Roger-MonzoESIC Business & Marketing School. Spain


  • Yolanda Cabrera Garcia-OchoaUniversity of Valencia  
  • Lorena Cano-OronUniversity of Valencia  
  • Myriam Marti-SanchezESIC Business & Marketing School  

The objective of this communication is to analyze the use of the youtube channel Alternative Therapies and Natural Remedies (in its Spanish version) as a platform for the dissemination of content around issues of apparent scientific interest.

A corpus of 40 videos has been compiled to carry out the study, the 20 most popular ones and the 20 less watched, obtained on July 14, 2017. The results confirm the use of the channel as a platform to position itself in favour of alternative therapies, but, above all, to generate marketing-oriented content to attract web traffic for commercial purposes. Besides, we verified that this channel contributes to the social spread of pseudoscientific topics with a total lack of precision in the information and the subsequent risks that this entails for the society.

The method of analysis has been based on the download, viewing and recording of the most relevant data for the investigation.

After analysing the audiovisual production and the quality of the videos, we found common characteristics that are repeated in the treatment of the information and its audiovisual production.

And we found that 100% of the sample are videos of amateur production with impersonal direction, low-resolution images, non-professional voiceover and, in short, unappealing results.

Furthermore, we examine what the motivation of the creators of these videos is: if they try to influence, report or take positions on the open debate concerning the efficiency of these therapies. Additionally, we analyse ideas and images they transmit to the social imaginary through different communication strategies.


[PDF 824.98 kB]Download the full paper (PDF 824.98 kB)

Category: Visual talk
Theme: Society
Area of interest: Investigating science communication practices