Post-modern science communication : are researchers ready?Post-modern science communication : are researchers ready?
Faculty of Applied Economics
Media, policy and culture
Tijdschrift voor communicatiewetenschap. - Houten
35(2007):2, p. 158-175
University of Antwerp
This article reports the findings of a qualitative study on the attitudes and behaviour of Flemish university researchers regarding science communication. The hypothesis we would like to put forward, and would like to substantiate, on the base of the data we got from in-depth interviews, is that the type of science communication, classical or interactive, depends on the knowledge paradigm from which a researcher is working. A positivistic researcher is inclined to use classical communication models, whereas a researcher, departing from a constructivistic approach of knowledge production, will be more inclined to use interactive and participative forms of communication. If our hypothesis is correct, however, a problem arises. The fact is that we got from our research about the attitudes of researchers on science communication strong indications that many of the researchers are thinking in terms of the modernity paradigm, with little interference and interaction with society. Whereas we on the other hand noticed that for the new trends in science communication a post-modern approach is needed, with more interaction and dialogue between researchers and society, in which it is more likely that truth claims are put into perspective and in which one has an eye for contradictions and uncertainties. Here, we are confronting a dilemma.