There has been an ongoing search for answers with regards to the expected contribution of online public communication to support political engagement and citizen participation, particularly in the field of science and technology (S&T) policies, which often have to deal with complex, contentious issues, such as sustainability. We assessed the information on science and technology policies available on the Brazilian government official website (www.brasil.gov.br) by means of a content analysis guided by 14 categories. The analysis of a sample of 71 web pages detected the existence of about 25% of the requisite information for a full characterization of a S&T policy, as established by the theoretical and methodological assumptions of our research. We interpreted this result using systems thinking, an approach which allowed us to consider the Brazilian government as a subsystem within the larger system of Brazilian society, and the government's attempts at S&T communication through its web portals as a way of influencing the larger social system. We sustain that the various social actors‟ concerns were barely addressed by the official web portal, which leads to the recommendation that portals should disclose information on the whole policy cycle.

">
 [PCST]
PCST Network

Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

Science communication on the Brazilian government web portal
Assessing information on policies through systems thinking

Danilo Rothberg   Unesp - Sao Paulo State University

Andrea Berardi   The Open University

There has been an ongoing search for answers with regards to the expected contribution of online public communication to support political engagement and citizen participation, particularly in the field of science and technology (S&T) policies, which often have to deal with complex, contentious issues, such as sustainability. We assessed the information on science and technology policies available on the Brazilian government official website (www.brasil.gov.br) by means of a content analysis guided by 14 categories. The analysis of a sample of 71 web pages detected the existence of about 25% of the requisite information for a full characterization of a S&T policy, as established by the theoretical and methodological assumptions of our research. We interpreted this result using systems thinking, an approach which allowed us to consider the Brazilian government as a subsystem within the larger system of Brazilian society, and the government's attempts at S&T communication through its web portals as a way of influencing the larger social system. We sustain that the various social actors‟ concerns were barely addressed by the official web portal, which leads to the recommendation that portals should disclose information on the whole policy cycle.

[PDF 224.88 kB]Download the full paper (PDF 224.88 kB)

BACK TO TOP