PCST Network

Public Communication of Science and Technology


Science Communications about MSW Incineration in One Café and Conference Room of Beijing, China

Yong Yang  

Municipal solid waste (MSW) incineration technology, quite popular for MSW disposal in the world, has been suffering intensive opposition from the public these years in China. There are long time disputes about it among scientists, public and other stakeholders, which can be often found on newspaper, website, especially social network, such as Weibo and Weixin. And in recent years garbage siege, getting worse and worse, has affected the urbanization. Therefore, to explore the dialogue mechanisms of science communication among scientists, enterprises and public, two salons were held separately in one conference room (Scene 1) and café (Scene 2) in Beijing, both of them on the topic of MSW incineration S&T. The number of people present at the two salons was limited to approximate 30, which were similar in the proportion of the invited representatives coming from scientific research institutes, enterprises, public, NGOs, media and governments. However, the sexual proportion of these representatives in Scene 1 was 2.2, just in contrast with that in Scene 2. Several interesting findings were drawn from the two salons. In terms of speech time, male representatives were inclined to be more active and speak more than female. Scientists took nearly half of the length of the speech time in Scene 1, while that in Scene 2 dropped to 38% and all of other representatives' speech time rose by 3~5%. In terms of speaking frequency, compared with Scene 1, the speaking frequency within the unit time increased by 27% in Scene 2. In terms of dialogue effect, not like answering to reporters' questions in Scene 1, representatives in Scene 2 expressed their views and confusion about MSW incineration more friendly, fluently, sufficiently and efficiently, in a more egalitarian dialogue relations. These findings could be considered in the planning of science communication among scientists, regulators and public.

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