Over the past decade, the UK has experienced several periods of intense media debate about the development of GMO’s. Concerned at the possible effects on public perceptions of GMO’s, scientists and politicians alike have criticised this coverage as hysterical and sensationalist. Academic studies of the media coverage have reached more complex conclusions. Yet in some ways these studies are also framed by the values of the dominant actors in the controversy. In this paper, I hope to open up a space for science communication scholars to examine the assumptions which are often embedded in research in this field and to reflect on the political dimension of our work.

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Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

The place of polemic
The need for politically-engaged science communication research

Felicity Mellor   Imperial College

Over the past decade, the UK has experienced several periods of intense media debate about the development of GMO’s. Concerned at the possible effects on public perceptions of GMO’s, scientists and politicians alike have criticised this coverage as hysterical and sensationalist. Academic studies of the media coverage have reached more complex conclusions. Yet in some ways these studies are also framed by the values of the dominant actors in the controversy. In this paper, I hope to open up a space for science communication scholars to examine the assumptions which are often embedded in research in this field and to reflect on the political dimension of our work.

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