Eric Jensen

Eric Jensen
The University of Warwick · Department of Sociology

PhD, University of Cambridge

About

94
Publications
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Introduction
I specialise in research on public engagement with science, socially responsible research and innovation and impact evaluation.

Publications

Publications (94)
Article
Full-text available
Taking place annually in more than 400 cities, European Researchers’ Night is a pan- European synchronized event that aims to bring researchers closer to the public. In this paper audience profiles are compared from events in 2019 and 2020. In 2019, face-to-face events reached an estimated 1.6 million attendees, while in 2020, events shifted online...
Article
As calls for more socially responsible research and innovation (RRI) policies and practices grow more insistent, the need for high quality indicators that can be used to evaluate progress is becoming increasingly important. Given the global nature of science, such indicators need to be relevant to countries across all world regions. Moreover, the m...
Article
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The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has resulted in a massive amount of global research on the social and human dimensions of the disease. Between academic researchers, governments, and polling firms, thousands of survey projects have been launched globally, tracking aspects like public opinion, social impacts, and drivers of disease transmis...
Article
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Vaccination willingness is a critical factor in pandemics, including the COVID-19 crisis. Therefore, investigating underlying drivers of vaccination willingness/hesitancy is an essential social science contribution. The present study of German residents investigates the mental shortcuts people are using to make sense of unfamiliar vaccine options b...
Article
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The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted social and cultural issues relevant to public health and the fundamental relationship between science and society. The pandemic has necessitated decision-making for individuals that can have life-or-death consequences. An understanding of these micro-level decisions can have social and ethical implications. For...
Article
The European Commission-funded GRRIP (Grounding RRI Practices) project aims to embed sustainable Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) practices in five research performing organisations (RPOs), focusing on the marine and maritime sector. The project’s goal is to achieve institutional and cultural change through a cycle of evaluation, evidence-...
Article
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Space education not only plays a key role in helping young people understand the natural world and their impact on the planet but is also vital in ensuring that future generations can make meaningful contributions to the space sector at all levels. Positive perceptions of the space sector can lead young people to take roles where they can contribut...
Article
Effective research impact development is essential to address global challenges. This commentary highlights key issues facing research impact development as a nascent professional field of practice. We argue that those working on research impact should take a strategic, ‘evidence-based’ approach to maximize potential research benefits and minimize...
Article
Full-text available
European Researchers' Night is an annual pan-European synchronized event devoted to public engagement with research. It was first held in 2005 and now occurs in over 400 cities across Europe, with the aim of bringing researchers closer to the general public. To investigate social inclusion in these events, we conducted survey research across three...
Article
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The COVID-19 global pandemic has transformed the relationship between science and society. The ensuing public health crisis has placed aspects of this relationship in harsh relief; perceptions of scientific credibility, risk, uncertainty, and democracy are all publicly debated in ways unforeseen before the pandemic. This unprecedented situation pre...
Article
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In the midst of a pandemic, the efficacy of official measures to mitigate the COVID-19 crisis largely depends on public attitudes towards them, where conspiracy beliefs represent potential threats to the efficacy of measures such as vaccination. Here, we present predictors and outcomes associated with a COVID-19 vaccination conspiracy belief. In a...
Article
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Scientists are key actors in public engagement activities, such as science festivals. This study sought to explore factors that encouraged and/or deterred scientists’ participation in Scifest Africa, the flagship science festival in South Africa. A self-administered, online survey was completed by 40 scientists who participated in this science fest...
Article
Live animal shows, which combine animal facts with trained behaviours, are commonly used to engage zoo visitors globally. However, such shows have been criticised for portraying a potentially unhelpful image of ‘performing animals’ and have raised issues of animal welfare ethics. Little is known about the educational effectiveness of these shows. F...
Book
A concise, coherent and easily readable textbook about the field of science communication, connecting the practice of science communicators with theory. In the book, recent trends and shifts in the field resonate, such as the transition from telling about science to interacting with the public and the importance of science communication in health a...
Article
Full-text available
Effective science communication can empower research and innovation systems to address global challenges and put public interests at the heart of how knowledge is produced, shared, and applied. For science communication to play this mediating role effectively, we propose a more integrated and “evidence-based” approach. This commentary identifies ke...
Article
The experience of visiting a zoo as a child can be remembered decades later and potentially influences future environmental attitudes. In light of steadily growing criticism of the ethics and value of live animal shows, some zoos are seeking alternative means of delivering ‘edutainment’ to a broad audience. One such alternative is through theatre....
Article
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Scientific institutions are increasingly embracing values of inclusivity and public engagement, but how do these two dimensions intersect? Science festivals have rapidly expanded in recent years as an outgrowth of these values, aiming to engage and educate the public about scientific topics and research. While resources invested in public engagemen...
Article
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With the rapid global proliferation of social media, there has been growing interest in using this existing source of easily accessible ‘big data’ to develop social science knowledge. However, amidst the big data gold rush, it is important that long-established principles of good social research are not ignored. This article critically evaluates Mi...
Conference Paper
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Role of social media in young people's reception of science communication
Article
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Zoos and aquariums aim to achieve lasting impact on their public audiences' awareness of biodiversity, its value, and the steps they can take to conserve it. Here, we evaluate the long-term educational impact of visits to zoos and aquariums on biodiversity understanding and knowledge of actions to help protect biodiversity. A minimum of two years a...
Article
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Campaigns by zoos, aquariums, and other civil society organizations are an important tool for promoting social changes that benefit the environment. Here, we evaluate a global biodiversity education campaign's impact through a repeated-measures survey of nearly 5000 visitors to 20 zoos and aquariums located in 14 countries. By comparing visitors’ p...
Article
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Many environmental communication interventions are built on the assumption that increased knowledge will lead to changes in pro-environment behaviours. Our study probes the link between biodiversity-related knowledge and self-reported pro-conservation behaviour, based on the largest and most international study of zoo visitors ever conducted. In to...
Chapter
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This chapter assesses Falk and Needham’s (2011) study of the California Science Center’s long-term impact on the Los Angeles population’s scientific understanding, attitudes, and interests. The study has been put forward as a good model of long-term impact evaluation for other researchers and informal science learning institutions to emulate. Moreo...
Chapter
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Today, public debate over genetic futures takes place within a new societal context. There is a greater emphasis from policymakers on promoting engagement between sciences and public, and mass media play a key role in this shifting relationship. Media representations of genetic futures are often subject to both positive and negative hypes. This ten...
Chapter
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Many domains within the social sciences have become counting disciplines. In these fields, to understand a phenomenon is to quantify it, to represent both observed and latent qualities through numerical quantities. Yet the process of quantification is not easy or simple: It requires careful thought, planning, and a skeptical mind-set.This entry out...
Conference Paper
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Despite the widely spread research interest in social media sentiment analysis, sentiment and emotion classification across different domains and on Twitter data remains a challenging task. Here we set out to find an effective approach for tackling a cross-domain emotion classification task on a set of Twitter data involving social media discourse...
Chapter
The polar regions are famously associated with extreme temperatures, ice, snow, legendary explorers, indigenous people, polar bears, penguins and other impressive fauna and flora. The past decades have witnessed a revolution in the amount of data collected in the polar regions, with considerable advances in the knowledge of numerous areas, includin...
Article
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Since 2000, the UK government has funded surveys aimed at understanding the UK public’s attitudes toward science, scientists and science policy. Known as the Public Attitudes to Science (PAS) series, these surveys and their predecessors have long been used in UK science communication policy, practice and scholarship as a source of authoritative kno...
Chapter
Museums, galleries, and festival visitors have been the subject of a great deal of research interest in recent years. However, to date little headway has been made in terms of developing a rigorous and valid theoretical understanding of museum visitors, their reasons for visiting, and the value such visits hold for them. In particular, the ways in...
Article
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Access to high quality evaluation results is essential for science communicators to identify negative patterns of audience response and improve outcomes. However, there are many good reasons why robust evaluation linked is not routinely conducted and linked to science communication practice. This essay begins by identifying some of the common chall...
Article
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King et al. [2015] argue that 'emphasis on impact is obfuscating the valuable role of evaluation' in informal science learning and public engagement (p. 1). The article touches on a number of important issues pertaining to the role of evaluation, informal learning, science communication and public engagement practice. In this critical response essa...
Article
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This article addresses some of the challenges faced when attempting to evaluate the long-term impact of informal science learning interventions. To contribute to the methodological development of informal science learning research, we critically examine (Falk and Needham (2011) Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 48: 1-12.) study of the Califo...
Article
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The United Nations Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 is a key initiative within global efforts to halt and eventually reverse the loss of biodiversity. The very first target of this plan states that "by 2020, at the latest, people are aware of the values of biodiversity and the steps they can take to conserve and use it sustainably." Zoos a...
Article
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In recent years, there has been a rhetorical shift from ‘deficit’ to ‘dialogue’ and ‘engagement’ in UK policy and institutional discourse about science communication. Past efforts to reduce public scientific literacy deficits have been overshadowed by calls for dialogue between scientists, science communicators and non-scientists. However, it is un...
Chapter
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Introduction The aim of this paper is to explicate a new method for conducting impact evaluation that is idiographic and sensitive to the details of changes in feeling and thinking through time. Impact evaluation methodology in informal settings (i.e. outside of schools or universities) typically only focuses on average outcomes or at best, average...
Article
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Riassunto La valutazione dell'esperienza del visitatore è incredibilmente importante per le relazioni con il pubblico di zoo ed acquari. In assenza di efficaci procedure di valutazione, lo staff può confidare esclusivamente sul proprio instinto, spesso inaffidablile, nel tentativo di determinare se l'esperienza del visitatore sia stata costruttiva....
Technical Report
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This report describes the process involved in developing the smartphone app-based metrics on quality of experience in arts and culture settings for the Artory project. See artory.co.uk for further information about the project.
Article
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Millions of children visit zoos every year with parents or schools to encounter wildlife firsthand. Public conservation education is a requirement for membership in professional zoo associations. However, in recent years zoos have been criticized for failing to educate the public on conservation issues and related biological concepts, such as anima...
Article
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Trench(这个问题)提出了一个关键问题---我们如何能够知道科学传播是否向大众成功地传播有价值的东西。谨慎采用,熟练操作,并有效共享的高质量效果研究能够为研究实践者提供一个基础,来发现发现科学传播活动的哪些方面正在在工作,通过什么样的方法,面向哪个受众群以及原因。这篇论文辩证地回顾了主流科学传播实践的评估现状,并将关注点聚焦在了拥有最优资源的机构。 的确,“科学中心和博物馆已经在设计和实施游客调查和其他评估步骤方面脱颖而出,他们旨在宣传和提高自身的实践能力”(Trench, this issue)。但是,在这些机构中“行业标准”的游客调查和评估步骤提供了一个基本错误的虚拟目录以及调查设计,抽样和分析中的低质量实践。的确,我已经在华威大学社会研究方法的教学中使用了来自领先科学传播评估顾问...
Article
Full-text available
Evaluation is incredibly important for zoos’ and aquariums’ relationships with their visitors: Without it, staff are relying on unreliable ‘gut instincts’ to determine whether effective experiences are being provided for visitors. High quality evaluation and visitor research that is skillfully conducted and effectively shared can provide a basis fo...
Article
Full-text available
Trench(这个问题)提出了一个关键问题---我们如何能够知道科学传播是否向大众成功地传播有价值的东西。谨慎采用,熟练操作,并有效共享的高质量效果研究能够为研究实践者提供一个基础,来发现发现科学传播活动的哪些方面正在在工作,通过什么样的方法,面向哪个受众群以及原因。这篇论文辩证地回顾了主流科学传播实践的评估现状,并将关注点聚焦在了拥有最优资源的机构。 的确,“科学中心和博物馆已经在设计和实施游客调查和其他评估步骤方面脱颖而出,他们旨在宣传和提高自身的实践能力”(Trench, this issue)。但是,在这些机构中“行业标准”的游客调查和评估步骤提供了一个基本错误的虚拟目录以及调查设计,抽样和分析中的低质量实践。的确,我已经在华威大学社会研究方法的教学中使用了来自领先科学传播评估顾问...
Article
每年都有数百万的儿童与他们的父母或老师同学们一起近距离接触野生动物。而对公众进行保护教育也是对各专业动物园协会的成员们的一项基本要求。但是,最近几年,动物园受到越来越多来自动物权益保护组织的批评,认为他们没有很好地展示他们对生物保护的公众理解的权威性,以及对相关生物学概念的诠释,例如动物对栖息地的适应性。的确,迄今为止还没有一个完整的研究项目严格地评估过动物园对他们最主要的受众---儿童在有关生物保护的学习方面的影响。这份(我的)研究是对于全世界7-15岁儿童游览动物园的教育价值的最大规模调查(包括样本2839个)。这项研究从对生物保护的学习方面(通过注释图检测的方法)以及从对于野生保护的态度转变方面入手,评估了通过有教学引导和无教学引导这两种方式游览伦敦ZSL动物园所获得的相关学习成果。结...
Article
Resumen: Millones de niños visitan zoológicos todos los años con sus padres o la escuela para tener un encuentro de primera mano con la vida silvestre. La educación pública para la conservación es un requisito básico para ser miembro de las asociaciones de zoológicos profesionales. Sin embargo, en los últimos años la crítica a los zoológicos se ha...
Article
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Pesquisar com empenho (este problema) levanta questões fundamentais ao nível de entender se a comunicação científica oferece algum valor acrescentado aos seus públicos. A avaliação com impacto de alta qualidade que é utilizada criteriosamente, conduzida habilmente e compartilhada de uma forma efetiva pode fornecer dados significativos aos profissio...
Article
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Todos os anos milhares de crianças visitam o jardim zoológico com os pais ou com as escolas, no intuito de estabelecerem um primeiro contacto com os animais selvagens. A educação pública de conservação é um requisito básico para a adesão em qualquer Associação Profissional de Zoológicos. No entanto, nos últimos anos, tem havido crescentes críticas...
Article
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Trench (questo volume) solleva delle domande chiave sul come capire se la comunicazione scientifica sia efficace nel suo impatto con il pubblico. Una valutazione di alta qualità che sia impiegata giudiziosamente, condotta in modo esperto ed efficientemente condivisa può fornire una buona base ai professionisti per scoprire quali aspetti delle inizi...
Article
Exploring the controversy surrounding therapeutic human cloning, this book draws upon data collected from news articles and interviews with journalists to examine the role of mass media in shaping biomedical controversies. With specific reference to the US and the UK as two leading scientific nations grappling with the global issue of therapeutic c...
Article
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Los problemas en la evaluación de la comunicación de las ciencias' (JCOM Comentario-­‐ Jensen) Trench (este número) plantea preguntas claves sobre cómo podemos saber si la comunicación de la ciencia está entregando con éxito algo de valor para el público. Una evaluación de impacto de alta calidad empleada juiciosamente, conducida hábilmente y compa...
Article
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Sumário: A avaliação contínua é importante na relação entre os Parques Zoológicos e Aquários e os seus visitantes. Sem avaliação, os funcionários confiam no seu pouco fiável 'instinto natural' para verificar se é prestada, ou não, uma eficaz e adequada experiencia ao visitante. Assim uma avaliação de elevada qualidade, quando habilmente conduzida e...
Chapter
Research in cultural psychology, like any other discipline, is developing norms and models of how best to conduct research consistent with its guiding theories. In Jaan Valsiner's inaugural lecture, he advocated the "Tra-jectory Equifinality Model" (TEM) as a framework for conducting social research with high validity, in line with the guiding theo...
Article
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Art museums have long been identified as bastions of social and cultural exclusion. This conclusion was best evidenced by the large-scale 1967 French study by Bourdieu and Darbel demonstrating the exclusionary nature of The Love of Art. However, in recent years there have been increasing efforts to reach out to a broader range of visitors beyond co...
Article
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As a form of public engagement, science festivals have rapidly expanded in size and number over recent years. However, as with other domains of informal public engagement that are not linked to policy outcomes, existing research does not fully address science festivals' impacts and popularity. This study adduces evidence from surveys and focus grou...
Article
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This study examines the production and content of press coverage of therapeutic cloning in the United States and Britain. The sample includes 5,128 news articles, as well as qualitative interviews with journalists who covered this science story. This article identifies variations in the valence, relative distribution, and quality of the hype found...
Article
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The development of therapeutic cloning research sparked a scientific controversy pitting patients' hopes for cures against religious and anti-abortion opposition. The present study investigates this controversy by examining the production and content of Anglo-American print media coverage of the branch of embryonic stem cell research known as "ther...
Article
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This article assesses the use of audience segmentation in visitor studies by analyzing its application in the identity model of visitors proposed by J. Falk (2009) and J. Falk et al. (2007). As a leading example of visitor segmentation, the authors examine this model's application in a specific case at U.S. zoos to elaborate some of its limitations...
Article
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This brief synthesis presents the main points of agreement between Dawson and Jensen's article, “‘Towards a ‘Contextual Turn’ in Visitor Studies: Evaluating Visitor Segmentation and Identity-Related Motivations” (this issue) and Falk's reply, “Contextualizing Falk's Identity-Related Visitor Motivation Model” (this issue), and it highlights importan...
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For years Anglo-American news media participated in hyping claims of imminent cures from therapeutic cloning. This hype was scrutinized following the scientific fraud of South Korean therapeutic cloning researcher Hwang Woo-Suk. The scandal left questions about contemporary science journalists' commitment to the ideals of the press as fourth estate...
Article
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This study investigates the role of celebrity life politics in American and British press coverage of therapeutic cloning. A large sample of articles in the US press and both elite and tabloid UK newspapers and periodicals was collected and analyzed for this study. The present analysis focuses on activist patients as key news sources in this covera...
Article
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Os jardim zoológicos atraem centenas de milhares de visitantes todos os anos por todo o mundo – muitas delas crianças. No Reino Unido, centenas de milhares de crianças em idade escolar visitam jardins zoológicos todos os anos. Entende-se, pois, que o jardim zoológico seja uma instituição chave na interacção pública com animais vivos e com a educaçã...
Article
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Zoos attract hundreds of millions of visitors every year worldwide – many of them children. In the UK, hundreds of thousands of school children visit zoos every year. Thus, the zoo is a key institution for publics engaging with live animals and environmental education. However, zoos have recently come under ethical criticism linked to the claim tha...
Chapter
Today, public debate over genetic futures takes place within a new societal context. There is a greater emphasis from policymakers on promoting engagement between sciences and publics, and mass media play a key role in this shifting relationship. Media representations of genetic futures are often subject to both positive and negative hype. This ten...
Article
Full-text available
Castro and Batel's (2008) study points to some important strategies of resistance to social change in the transformation of transcendent to immanent representations. We contextualize this study within a broader cyclical model of social change, in which their focus is one of the four phases in the cycle. The expanded model is exemplified in the shif...
Article
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This chapter describes how focus group interviews were used to investigate scientists expressions of commitment to first (deficit), second (dialogic) and third (contextual) orders of public engagement. The findings suggest that ambitious third order agendas for public engagement were only rarely articulated by these scientists, who were generally k...
Article
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This chapter is described in the introduction to this edited collection as providing: "a critically informed rationale for some of the various analytical techniques that can be employed by researchers investigating scientists’ (and other practitioners) participation in science outreach and public engagement activities. This chapter is enriched by s...
Article
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This is the final report for the NESTA-funded phase of the ISOTOPE project, which ran from January 2007 to July 2009. In this report the authors document: the wider context within which the project was conducted, alongside an overview of some of the core research findings (Section 1); the aims of the project (Section 2); the management of the proje...
Article
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Beauchamp and Childress (1994) elaborated an approach to bioethical deliberations based on four universalistic principles. This framework of 'principlism' has been criticized from within biomedical ethics as insufficient and problematic. However, this article considers a more radical sociological critique by John Evans (2002) that rejects the entir...
Article
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The issue of human cloning has featured in the national science policy agendas in both the United States and the United Kingdom since the announcement in 1997 of Dolly the cloned sheep's birth in Scotland. Such news stories suggesting the imminent cloning of humans have inspired fictional entertainment media over the years, including numerous popul...
Article
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The issue of human cloning has received intense media and political attention since the cloning of Dolly the sheep was announced in 1997. This research explores the discursive basis for support and opposition to human cloning by examining the role of abortion-related rhetoric in constructing the concept of human cloning within the American press. A...
Article
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Over the last seven years, a major debate has arisen over whether human cloning should remain legal in the United States. Given that this may be the ‘first real global and simultaneous news story on biotechnology’ (Einsiedel et al., 2002, p. 313), nations around the world have struggled with the implications of this newly viable scientific technolo...

Projects

Projects (4)
Project
In this rapid response research project, we use a mixed-methods approach to document, preserve, and share ephemeral data on the social dimensions of an emergent outbreak, and to translate this knowledge into tangible countermeasures that can aid in minimizing the negative impacts of the disease on individuals and communities. The research questions cover the ethical, legal and socio-economic dimensions of the COVID-19 outbreak, including how individuals and communities perceive risks and protective behaviours related to COVID-19 with regards to individual human rights, pro-social ethical duties and their own socio-economic situations; how public understandings of the disease evolve as a result of information production, reception and internalisation processes; how these vary across diverse populations and demographics; and how German citizens are experiencing stigmatization and negative outcomes. Understanding these aspects will inform discussions pertaining to what local knowledge can be mobilized to help respond and facilitate German citizens who seek to contribute, and how pro-social behaviours can be fostered. See: https://www.viralcomm.info for more information.
Project
Evidence-based Science Communication can empower research and innovation systems to address global challenges and put public interests at the heart of how knowledge is produced, shared, and applied. For science communication to play this mediating role effectively, we propose a more integrated and “evidence-based” approach. This commentary identifies key issues facing the science communication field. It suggests a series of prescriptions, inspired by the impact of “evidence-based medicine” over the past decades. In practice, evidence-based science communication should combine professional expertise and skills with the best available evidence from systematic research. Steps required to achieve this outcome include more quality assurance in science communication research, significant changes in teaching and training, and improved interfaces between science communication research and practice.