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Vital and vulnerable: science communication as a university subject

Trench, Brian (2012) Vital and vulnerable: science communication as a university subject. In: Schiele, Bernard and Claessens, Michel and Shi, Shunke, (eds.) Science Communication in the World: Practices, Theories and Trends. Springer, Dordrecht, pp. 241-258. ISBN 978-94-007-4278-9

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Abstract

Over nearly three decades, science communication has become established as a subject of teaching and research in universities across the world. Its standing as an academic discipline continues to be debated, but graduate degree programmes and doctoral research in the field are increasing. Partly reflecting its inherent multi- and interdisciplinary content, science communication is embedded in different institutions in different ways. These developments have been driven mainly by individual champions, but in some cases also by institutional and government policies. The diversity of science communication programmes reflects in part the various histories and institutional affiliations of the programmes. The diversity can be seen as a sign of the subject’s vitality but it is also a condition of its vulnerability. Many science communication teaching programmes have given rise to consultancies, applied research, publishing and, perhaps most notably, doctoral research, but information from the promoters of science communication programmes indicates that some programmes are particularly exposed to the rationalisation affecting higher education institutions in many countries. Science communication’s position between and across disciplines and departments may mean it is not always well equipped to defend itself just when its need is most apparent.

Item Type:Book Section
Refereed:Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords:Science communication; institutional support; interdisciplinarity; master’s programmes; PhD research; economic conditions
Subjects:Social Sciences > Education
DCU Faculties and Centres:DCU Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Science > School of Communications
Publisher:Springer
Official URL:http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-4279-6
Copyright Information:©2012 Springer. The original publication is available at www.springerlink.com
Use License:This item is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License. View License
ID Code:16917
Deposited On:24 Apr 2012 14:03 by Fran Callaghan. Last Modified 24 Apr 2012 14:03

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