The recent COVID-19 pandemic has put each of us in front of new and unexpected rules and habits. Similarly, each of us has been confronted with a massive communication on the virus: epidemiologists, virologists, natural scientists, health scientists, social scientists, economists are everyday in the public media, communicating with people.
COVID-19 has certainly offered Science Communication the opportunity – for good or for bad – to be at the center of the media and the public’s interest. What sort of communication is it? How can we, as non-scientists, distinguish and select the “good” communication, the one we can trust?
Science Communication quality is the main objective of VIU’s coordinated H2020 project QUEST - QUality and Effectiveness in Science and Technology communication (link). Science Communication is in fact a VIU’s Focus Area managed by the VIU's TEN Program on Sustainability, with the aim of exploring how today’s global challenges linked to research results are communicated to and perceived by the lay public, focusing on the growing role that training and professionalization can have in this field.
Here we would like to share some reflections on Science Communication as they emerged during the current pandemic, through some articles that have been published as blog posts in the framework of QUEST project.
How Journalists are meeting the Covid-19 challenge (https://questproject.eu/how-journalists-are-meeting-the-covid-19-challenge/) focuses on five specific approaches that journalists have used successfully to increase the public’s understanding of the pandemic. The purpose is not to suggest a “best of” list of Covid-19 news coverage, but rather showcase the diversity and creativity that news outlets have displayed while covering the issue.
Covid-19 and gender balance in public expertise
(https://questproject.eu/covid-19-and-gender-balance-in-public-expertise/) discusses the ratio of male to female experts giving commentary on broadcast outlets, which affects the way that stories about science are reported and understood by the public, in the context of the Covid crisis.
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020
research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 824634