In principle, Universities, in addition to their aims to conducct research and to teach, have to contribute to S&T communication. However, the latter remains largely unexplored. The objective of this study is to explore the self-perceived relationship of the members of local communities with the Universities sited in their area. The sample consisted of two hundrend persons (one hundrend for each University). These people were selected according to the relevance of their social activities and interests (henceforth called as concerned citizens) and their working position (henceforth called as professionals) to the S&T field of two departments of two different Greek Universities (department of Chemistry in the University of Athens and department of Computer and Communication Engineering in the University of Thessaly). The research instrument was a self-administered questionnaire consisting of closed questions organized into the following four groups concerning: a) demographics, b) self-perceived familiarity with the scientific field of each department, c) ways of coming in contact with the departments and d) prefered modes for communicating the relevant to each department knowledge. The results show that both the concerned citizens and the professionals of both communities have a positive relationship with the knowledge produced in the local universities (i.e. high levels of knowledge, appreciation of its social utility, attentive to the latest novelties through mass media). However, their contact with the Universities is rather infrequent, non-systematic and on an ad-hoc personal links with the academic staff. Their main motive in contacting the University departments is related to being up to date with current knowledge rather than for gaining any specific personal advantage. This is possibly the reason that they prefer short messages characterized by substantial and valid S&T content, rather formal expressive codes and also framed as informative or guides. These findings are varied depending on the gender, the cultural capital, and the familiarity of the respondents with the knowledge field of each department.

">
 [PCST]
PCST Network

Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

The relationship between universities and local communities
A study of S&T knowledge communication

Vasilis Koulaidis   Kostas Dimopoulos University of Peloponnese

In principle, Universities, in addition to their aims to conducct research and to teach, have to contribute to S&T communication. However, the latter remains largely unexplored. The objective of this study is to explore the self-perceived relationship of the members of local communities with the Universities sited in their area. The sample consisted of two hundrend persons (one hundrend for each University). These people were selected according to the relevance of their social activities and interests (henceforth called as concerned citizens) and their working position (henceforth called as professionals) to the S&T field of two departments of two different Greek Universities (department of Chemistry in the University of Athens and department of Computer and Communication Engineering in the University of Thessaly). The research instrument was a self-administered questionnaire consisting of closed questions organized into the following four groups concerning: a) demographics, b) self-perceived familiarity with the scientific field of each department, c) ways of coming in contact with the departments and d) prefered modes for communicating the relevant to each department knowledge. The results show that both the concerned citizens and the professionals of both communities have a positive relationship with the knowledge produced in the local universities (i.e. high levels of knowledge, appreciation of its social utility, attentive to the latest novelties through mass media). However, their contact with the Universities is rather infrequent, non-systematic and on an ad-hoc personal links with the academic staff. Their main motive in contacting the University departments is related to being up to date with current knowledge rather than for gaining any specific personal advantage. This is possibly the reason that they prefer short messages characterized by substantial and valid S&T content, rather formal expressive codes and also framed as informative or guides. These findings are varied depending on the gender, the cultural capital, and the familiarity of the respondents with the knowledge field of each department.

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

BACK TO TOP