Recent studies on the public communication of science in the press have stressed not only the increase of science news but also the singularities of this kind of communication. The approach advocated in this presentation suggests that the analysis of the precise linguistic formulations in texts can provide insight into, and thus improve the practices of popularization. The analysis of our data shows that there are different types of recontextualization: on the one hand it means that journalists introduce an orientation in their discourse through the citation of different voices; on the other hand it means to relate scientific results to a social situation where the focus is on personal, economic, social and political consequences. Such science news is in general well understood by the readers. And finally, contextualization involves providing information about technical aspects, generally difficult to understand for ordinary people. These are the contents that have to be explained through various strategies, in order to bridge the epistemic gap between what the scientific community knows and what non experts know.

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Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

Science in the press
Problems and possibilities of recontextualization

Helena Calsamiglia   Universitat Pompeu Fabra

Recent studies on the public communication of science in the press have stressed not only the increase of science news but also the singularities of this kind of communication. The approach advocated in this presentation suggests that the analysis of the precise linguistic formulations in texts can provide insight into, and thus improve the practices of popularization. The analysis of our data shows that there are different types of recontextualization: on the one hand it means that journalists introduce an orientation in their discourse through the citation of different voices; on the other hand it means to relate scientific results to a social situation where the focus is on personal, economic, social and political consequences. Such science news is in general well understood by the readers. And finally, contextualization involves providing information about technical aspects, generally difficult to understand for ordinary people. These are the contents that have to be explained through various strategies, in order to bridge the epistemic gap between what the scientific community knows and what non experts know.

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