The presentation of natural science by the mass media generally suffers from a striking discrepancy between the realities of the subject (and its experts) and their medial counterimages; outdated as well as rudimentary ideas of science are produced. It is true, sometimes ’experts’ discredited in a personal way, but the social concept of solving problems and making progress is hardly ever discussed. Moreover, journalists (and also the interviewed scientists) too often content themselves with false analogies or apodictic statements in view of complex scientific facts instead of paying special attention to the ’intel- ligibility’ of the broadcast information. Speaking in a pointed manner, all programs are more or less ’un- scientific’ on principle, however, there are vast dif- ferences which result from the different concrete objects and competencies of the ’makers’ on the one hand and, on the other hand, differences which re- flect social tendencies.

In appropriate consideration of scientific aspects we want to discuss the above-mentioned theme, emphasizing the example of physics and especially following two double questions:

1. How are scientists presented in TV? How do scientists present themselves in TV?

2. Which idea of science is conveyed by the pres- entation of scientists? Which idea of science do scientists convey in TV?

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Torn between elitism and levelling
How natural science is presented by the media

Jochen Pade   Universitaet Oldenburg, Germany

Klaus Schlüpmann  

The presentation of natural science by the mass media generally suffers from a striking discrepancy between the realities of the subject (and its experts) and their medial counterimages; outdated as well as rudimentary ideas of science are produced. It is true, sometimes ’experts’ discredited in a personal way, but the social concept of solving problems and making progress is hardly ever discussed. Moreover, journalists (and also the interviewed scientists) too often content themselves with false analogies or apodictic statements in view of complex scientific facts instead of paying special attention to the ’intel- ligibility’ of the broadcast information. Speaking in a pointed manner, all programs are more or less ’un- scientific’ on principle, however, there are vast dif- ferences which result from the different concrete objects and competencies of the ’makers’ on the one hand and, on the other hand, differences which re- flect social tendencies.

In appropriate consideration of scientific aspects we want to discuss the above-mentioned theme, emphasizing the example of physics and especially following two double questions:

1. How are scientists presented in TV? How do scientists present themselves in TV?

2. Which idea of science is conveyed by the pres- entation of scientists? Which idea of science do scientists convey in TV?

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