The Covid-19 crisis has changed science communication practices. Research is being communicated more widely and increasingly across new media platforms. An overview of good European practices is given in Communicating Science in Times of Covid-19, including a contribution from VA (Public & Science).
The new report shares ten perspectives on the role and relevance of science communication during the pandemic. VA describes results from its ongoing study on how Swedes are receiving and interpreting information about the coronavirus.
Confidence in researchers who comment on the coronavirus in the Swedish media has been consistently high, with minor fluctuations. In December 2020, 87 percent of the respondents said that they have fairly high or very high confidence in researchers (the same level as in March 2020).
Trust in science and research has risen during the pandemic
A key observation in the report is that the overall level of trust in science and research has risen during the pandemic. In many countries (e.g. Portugal, Sweden, UK, Ireland, Germany) the public’s trust in scientists and experts generally has increased, sometimes considerably.
Although the crisis has made it evident how crucial science communication is to reach and engage with the public, more needs to be done:
– More investment in training, better institutional recognition of science communication activities, comparative studies and international sharing of data and practices are key prerequisites for ensuring continuous innovation in the field of science communication, states Cissi Askwall, VA’s Secretary General, in the report.
The new publication is co-written by members of the COST Cross-Cutting Activity (CCA) on Science Communication, which brings together expertise from over 50 organisations across Europe. The CCA works to raise awareness of science communication and develop best practices for policy makers to stimulate research on science communication in Europe.