New report on European online science communication landscape

The EU project RETHINK, in which VA is a partner, has published its first report. The exploratory study maps online science communication in seven European countries on the topics of climate change, artificial intelligence and healthy diets. VA (Public & Science) was responsible for collecting the Swedish data.

The new report, the first published by the RETHINK project, maps how science is communicated online in seven European countries. Photo: Hanna Mellin, VA.

Three focus areas

The mapping was focused on three topic areas: climate change, artificial intelligence and healthy diets. Differences can be seen between the three topics, both in terms of the types of organisations undertaking the communication and the channels that are used.

  • Communication on climate change is characterised by a broad range of different actors with different strategies depending on the platform: advocacy organisations and activists mainly use social media, blogs and websites; researchers, journalists and policymakers mainly use Twitter; while government authorities primarily communicate via websites.
  • This can also be seen in relation to communication about healthy diets that mainly involves health practitioners and non-professional communicators (those who communicate outside their professional role). For these actors, Instagram and Facebook are popular channels.
  • In the case of artificial intelligence, businesses and media organisations primarily use websites and blogs, whereas non-professional communicators prefer platforms such as Facebook groups or online forums.

The report is written by researchers at the Science Communication Unit at the University of the West of England. The Swedish data collection was carried out by VA (Public & Science). View the full report here.

RETHINK is looking to develop and adapt science communication in Europe to maximise future opportunities and overcome the challenges.  This is mainly being achieved through so-called Rethinkspaces in the participating countries. Read more about RETHINK and Rethinkerspaces here.

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