Science Communication at a Time of Crisis: Emergency, Democracy, and Persuasion

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Abstract

This commentary essay reflects on the role of science communication in contemporary democratic societies, with a particular focus on how it should be imagined and practiced in times of crisis and emergency such as the COVID-19 pandemic or climate change. I distinguish between science communication that is oriented to strategic and democratic goals, and argue for the continued importance of science communication in nurturing democracy even at times of crisis. I close by suggesting principles that might guide such communication, and by relating these arguments to an understanding of science communication as ‘the social conversation around science’.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5103
JournalSustainability
Volume14
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022

Austrian Fields of Science 2012

  • 508016 Science communication
  • 509017 Social studies of science

Keywords

  • Climate crisis
  • Covid-19 pandemic
  • Deliberation
  • Democracy
  • Emergency
  • Public engagement

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