Developments of modern science have multiple aspects of contacting with societies and it arouses many conflicts with lay people. Scientific advancements are rather specialist or technical and are not friendly to be understood by lay people. Cutting edge scientific knowledge is produced by professional specialist belonging to academic institutes and nearly monopolized by them. These situations make the gap between science and public wider despite science nowadays become more powerful and influential to normal people’s daily life. Science communications for sharing information on scientific advancements are becoming considerably important.

In 2000s, Japanese governments increase budgets for scientific research besides other outcomes were saved. Under this policy, many attempts for expanding the occasions of science communication have been done because of accountability for tax consuming. Academic institutes such as universities and national research institutes have crucial roles for that, they have extremely enlarged their public relations sections, and the press releases published by them were doubled. Short-termed research budgets program also played a big role for the expansion of science communication activities.

On another front, academic professional societies seemed to have not changed their activities much in comparison to academic institutes or some short-term research programs. Because they do not execute the research by themselves, and the research budget enlargement in the last decade could not make direct influence on them. But without abundant financial back-up, some academic communities have enhanced their activities on the contact points with public. Some academic societies have started science cafes, some started to publish press releases at each annual meeting, and some improved their outreach activities through their websites. Unfortunately, these activities’ ameliorations were rather isolated, because interaction between other academic professional communities was not much active. Here I show an overview of Japanese academic professional activities on public understanding or engaging.

Public relation activities on science by academic professional communities have extreme importance. In Japan, most of the new coverage on novel scientific progress is based on the news releases issued by research institutes, not by academic communities. These releases are mainly addressed to mass media especially for newspapers which have specific sectors for science and technology, and the quantities of articles appeared on the newspapers sometimes have a power to persuade bureaucrats for researchers’ activities to attain the budgets. Each public relation sections of research institutes have propensities for exaggeration about their own results, because they do not have responsibilities to the field of studies unlike academic professional communities. To enlarge the involvements of these communities on public relations of science make sounder situation.

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Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

How can Academic professional communities contribute public relations of science?

Fuji Nagami   Tohoku University

Developments of modern science have multiple aspects of contacting with societies and it arouses many conflicts with lay people. Scientific advancements are rather specialist or technical and are not friendly to be understood by lay people. Cutting edge scientific knowledge is produced by professional specialist belonging to academic institutes and nearly monopolized by them. These situations make the gap between science and public wider despite science nowadays become more powerful and influential to normal people’s daily life. Science communications for sharing information on scientific advancements are becoming considerably important.

In 2000s, Japanese governments increase budgets for scientific research besides other outcomes were saved. Under this policy, many attempts for expanding the occasions of science communication have been done because of accountability for tax consuming. Academic institutes such as universities and national research institutes have crucial roles for that, they have extremely enlarged their public relations sections, and the press releases published by them were doubled. Short-termed research budgets program also played a big role for the expansion of science communication activities.

On another front, academic professional societies seemed to have not changed their activities much in comparison to academic institutes or some short-term research programs. Because they do not execute the research by themselves, and the research budget enlargement in the last decade could not make direct influence on them. But without abundant financial back-up, some academic communities have enhanced their activities on the contact points with public. Some academic societies have started science cafes, some started to publish press releases at each annual meeting, and some improved their outreach activities through their websites. Unfortunately, these activities’ ameliorations were rather isolated, because interaction between other academic professional communities was not much active. Here I show an overview of Japanese academic professional activities on public understanding or engaging.

Public relation activities on science by academic professional communities have extreme importance. In Japan, most of the new coverage on novel scientific progress is based on the news releases issued by research institutes, not by academic communities. These releases are mainly addressed to mass media especially for newspapers which have specific sectors for science and technology, and the quantities of articles appeared on the newspapers sometimes have a power to persuade bureaucrats for researchers’ activities to attain the budgets. Each public relation sections of research institutes have propensities for exaggeration about their own results, because they do not have responsibilities to the field of studies unlike academic professional communities. To enlarge the involvements of these communities on public relations of science make sounder situation.

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