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Neuroscientists’ media interactions and their repercussions on research

Joachim Allgaier   Forschungszentrum Jülich, Germany

Dominique Brossard   Department of Life Sciences Communication, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA

Sharon Dunwoody   School of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA

Yin-Yueh Lo   Forschungszentrum Jülich, Germany

Hans Peter Peters   Forschungszentrum Jülich, Germany

The concept of ‘medialization’ implies that the media logic increasingly influences various spheres of society, including science and research. The sociologist Peter Weingart (2012) and others have suggested that scientists are increasingly affected by the way how the mass media represent their research and are interested in shaping their public image. In the ‘medialization of science’ context, scientists and researchers have to take into account how journalists cover their scientific work. In this sense, many scientists are aware that (positive or at least non-negative) coverage of their research is generally beneficial for them.

The focus of our project 1 is not only on the “negotiation processes” between journalists and their scientific sources in the construction of media images of research, but also on the possible repercussions of these media images on communication strategies and decisions on scientific research, thus contributing to the governance of science. For this project we use the multidisciplinary field of neuroscience as a case study and we compare the social context f neuroscience in Germany and the United States. The project investigates the thesis that ublic communication of neuroscientific research has possibly steering effects and repercussions on neuroscientific research.

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