This paper attempts to find out what effects the communication media have on the social perception on science and technology. In Korea, mass media are the major information channel for science communication. The surveys have shown that the general citizens get the information on science and technology through the broadcasting and newspaper. Therefore, it is assumed that media are playing important role in forming the public opinion. However, this hypothesis has not been tested with empirical data yet. One can argue that media contents reflect the public opinion. Moreover, many researches on media effects in other fields have shown that the effects of the mass media are limited. These researches have placed much emphases on the receivers.

This paper tries to analyze how much effects the mass media have on the public opinion toward various biotechnological issues. For this purpose, we are to analyze ten data sets of social survey data, which were gathered from 2001 about the biotechnological issues. We also consult the content analysis studies on media coverage on these issues. In addition to these data, we are planning to have depth interview with some science reporters. These data would show the scope and width of the communication media effects.

Mass media is important in science communication. Therefore we have to know more about the nature and scope of the media power. Especially it is needed for the understanding of social controversies and predicting of the future course. By analyzing empirical data on media effects, this study would contribute to the practice and theory building of science communication .

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Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

Effects of mass media in science communication
In case of social controversies over biotechnology

Sung Kyum Cho   Chungnam National University, Korea

This paper attempts to find out what effects the communication media have on the social perception on science and technology. In Korea, mass media are the major information channel for science communication. The surveys have shown that the general citizens get the information on science and technology through the broadcasting and newspaper. Therefore, it is assumed that media are playing important role in forming the public opinion. However, this hypothesis has not been tested with empirical data yet. One can argue that media contents reflect the public opinion. Moreover, many researches on media effects in other fields have shown that the effects of the mass media are limited. These researches have placed much emphases on the receivers.

This paper tries to analyze how much effects the mass media have on the public opinion toward various biotechnological issues. For this purpose, we are to analyze ten data sets of social survey data, which were gathered from 2001 about the biotechnological issues. We also consult the content analysis studies on media coverage on these issues. In addition to these data, we are planning to have depth interview with some science reporters. These data would show the scope and width of the communication media effects.

Mass media is important in science communication. Therefore we have to know more about the nature and scope of the media power. Especially it is needed for the understanding of social controversies and predicting of the future course. By analyzing empirical data on media effects, this study would contribute to the practice and theory building of science communication .

A copy of the full paper has not yet been submitted.

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