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“Space means science, unless it’s about Star Wars”: A qualitative assessment of science communication audience segments


Koch, Carmen; Saner, Mirco; Schäfer, Mike S; Herrmann-Giovanelli, Iris; Metag, Julia (2020). “Space means science, unless it’s about Star Wars”: A qualitative assessment of science communication audience segments. Public Understanding of Science, 29(2):157-175.

Abstract

Scholars of science communication have identified population segments that differ in their perceptions of and attitudes toward science as well as in their patterns of science-related information and media use. So far, however, most of these studies employed quantitative, standardized methods and their descriptions could not go into qualitative detail. This study fills this gap: It delivers an in-depth description of members of four audience segments that were identified in a prior, representative survey in Switzerland. Forty-one of these survey respondents, representing different segments, were asked to note their encounters with science in smartphone-based diaries, and diary entries were discussed in qualitative follow-up interviews. Results show that the segments differ in their criteria for identifying science, expectations toward science, and their reasons to use science communication.

Abstract

Scholars of science communication have identified population segments that differ in their perceptions of and attitudes toward science as well as in their patterns of science-related information and media use. So far, however, most of these studies employed quantitative, standardized methods and their descriptions could not go into qualitative detail. This study fills this gap: It delivers an in-depth description of members of four audience segments that were identified in a prior, representative survey in Switzerland. Forty-one of these survey respondents, representing different segments, were asked to note their encounters with science in smartphone-based diaries, and diary entries were discussed in qualitative follow-up interviews. Results show that the segments differ in their criteria for identifying science, expectations toward science, and their reasons to use science communication.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Department of Communication and Media Research
Dewey Decimal Classification:700 Arts
Uncontrolled Keywords:Audience, media use, perceptions of science, qualitative methods, science communication, segmentation analysis
Language:English
Date:1 February 2020
Deposited On:06 Feb 2020 08:57
Last Modified:12 Feb 2020 02:07
Publisher:Sage Publications
ISSN:0963-6625
OA Status:Green
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1177/0963662519881938

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