970   Individual paper

Success criteria of networks in science communication

Author: Danielle Martine Farrugia
, Malta

What is the added value of analysing science communication networks? Manifold definitions and types of networks exist, depending for instance on epistemic interest, methodological focus, and scale of analysis. These network types are articulated based on their diverse functions. Since some of the main functions of science communication networks is to understand how to engage various stakeholders with science and share information and best practices, a study was conducted by Danielle Martine Farrugia (Science Communicator & lecturer, PhD student, University of Malta) as part of Work Package seven within the “RRING” project [http://www.rring.eu/] [led by Dr Gordon Dalton, supervised by Prof. Alexander Gerber] and her PhD research to understand how these networks are founded and grown, structured and governed.

Science communication is embedded in social structures and driven by forces that go well beyond science: gender, race, class, access to power and other factors. How do these professional networks ensure that their members are engaged? What motivates science communication professionals to join such a network? How relevant are these networks to their members, and why are certain people deciding not to join (or leave) a network? What are the success criteria for sustaining a network that keeps on serving its members and relevant to their members’ needs? While some networks seem to grow, other network perish or cease to exist.

This talk will explore networks with a focus or related to public engagement with science such as Public Communication with Science and Technology (PCST), World Federation of Science Journalists (WFSJ) and International government for science advise (INGSA) and the role these science communication networks serve to its members/potential members.

Co-author: Alexander Gerber
Rhine-Waal University, Germany

Co-author: Eric Jensen
Senior Research Fellow, ICORSA, Netherlands

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