The present empirical research seeks to contribute to the qualitative analysis of scientists’ public communication attitudes and the influence of external bodies affecting their public engagements activities. The research was carried out between May 2008 and May 2009 in five European research centres involved in nanotechnology and materials science: Fritz Haber Institute (fhi), Berlin, Germany; Centre d’Elaboration de Materiaux et d’Etudes Structurales (cemes), Toulouse, France; Instituto per lo Studio dei Materiali Nanostrutturati (ismn), Bolo- gna, Italy; Centre for Materials Science and Engineering (csme), Edinburgh, United Kingdom, and Donosti International Physics Center (dipc), Donostia-San Sebastian, Spain.

The study included face-to-face interviews with 112 scientists and 9 national and local Public Relations and Press Officers of the relevant institutes, as well as observations of the public communications activities and interactions occurring in the centres. The results of this study covered five categories of information: What public engagement means to scientists; Audi- ences and activities; Barriers to science communication; Training and demand; and Incen- tives for science communication. Some of the key findings obtained were as follows. 

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European scientists’ public communication attitudes
Scientists’ views and experiences and the institutional, local and national influences determining their public engagement activities

Claudia Loaiza Escutia   Department of Logic and Philosophy of Science, University of the Basque Country, Spain, and Mexican National Council for Science and Technology

The present empirical research seeks to contribute to the qualitative analysis of scientists’ public communication attitudes and the influence of external bodies affecting their public engagements activities. The research was carried out between May 2008 and May 2009 in five European research centres involved in nanotechnology and materials science: Fritz Haber Institute (fhi), Berlin, Germany; Centre d’Elaboration de Materiaux et d’Etudes Structurales (cemes), Toulouse, France; Instituto per lo Studio dei Materiali Nanostrutturati (ismn), Bolo- gna, Italy; Centre for Materials Science and Engineering (csme), Edinburgh, United Kingdom, and Donosti International Physics Center (dipc), Donostia-San Sebastian, Spain.

The study included face-to-face interviews with 112 scientists and 9 national and local Public Relations and Press Officers of the relevant institutes, as well as observations of the public communications activities and interactions occurring in the centres. The results of this study covered five categories of information: What public engagement means to scientists; Audi- ences and activities; Barriers to science communication; Training and demand; and Incen- tives for science communication. Some of the key findings obtained were as follows. 

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