Scientific information from scientists has become an increasingly important part of our society, enhancing citizens’ understanding of science and technology relating to their daily lives. For both scientists and our society, the need to understand the impact of the science on society becomes extensively stronger nowadays. For this reason, scientists are expected to know how to convey their researches effectively to members of their society. Here, we have a problem that we do not have enough knowledge about the actual activities, or concerns of scientists themselves. To what extent should scientists convey their scientific information to public, or how much are they concerned about citizens’ participation in public decision making processes?

We interviewed more than 40 Japanese life scientists and 20 science communicators to examine their opinions on the issues. It is clear that most Japanese life scientists want more global discussions or judgments in/from the society, considering the social value and influence of their research. It also appears that the relationship between scientists and science communicators, especially science journalists affects greatly on the quality of the scientific information. It is suggested to provide systematic support for both scientists and communicators to make science communication more effectively.

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Opinions of life scientists on science communication in japan

Jin Higashijima   Graduate school of Biostudies, Kyoto University, Japan

Kazuto Kato   Institute for Research in Humanities, Kyoto University, Japan

Scientific information from scientists has become an increasingly important part of our society, enhancing citizens’ understanding of science and technology relating to their daily lives. For both scientists and our society, the need to understand the impact of the science on society becomes extensively stronger nowadays. For this reason, scientists are expected to know how to convey their researches effectively to members of their society. Here, we have a problem that we do not have enough knowledge about the actual activities, or concerns of scientists themselves. To what extent should scientists convey their scientific information to public, or how much are they concerned about citizens’ participation in public decision making processes?

We interviewed more than 40 Japanese life scientists and 20 science communicators to examine their opinions on the issues. It is clear that most Japanese life scientists want more global discussions or judgments in/from the society, considering the social value and influence of their research. It also appears that the relationship between scientists and science communicators, especially science journalists affects greatly on the quality of the scientific information. It is suggested to provide systematic support for both scientists and communicators to make science communication more effectively.

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