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Opening the black box: scientists' views on the role of the news media in the nanotechnology debate

Petersen, Alan, Anderson, Alison, Allan, Stuart ORCID: and Wilkinson, Clare 2009. Opening the black box: scientists' views on the role of the news media in the nanotechnology debate. Public Understanding of Science 18 (5) , pp. 512-530. 10.1177/0963662507084202

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Increasingly, scientists and policy makers have come to recognize that if nanotechnologies are to achieve wide public acceptance, it is essential to engage publics during the early phase of technology development. The media, situated at the interface between scientists and lay publics, possess the potential to play a significant role in public engagement in this field. This article, drawing on data from a recent survey and interview-based study, examines how scientists perceive and evaluate the production and coverage of news on nanotechnologies. Scientists acknowledged the significance of the media in shaping public perceptions of nanotechnologies and saw a role for the media in public engagement efforts. Most had criticisms of media coverage and offered suggestions as to how it could be improved. However, their comments often revealed a one-dimensional conception of science mediation that overlooked the influence of their own claims. Any efforts to enrich public dialogue about nanotechnologies must endeavor to advance understanding among scientists about the operations of the media and their own role in news production.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Journalism, Media and Culture
Subjects: Q Science > Q Science (General)
T Technology > T Technology (General)
Publisher: SAGE
ISSN: 0963-6625
Last Modified: 25 Oct 2022 09:07

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