2021 | 2019 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 

2021

Health Communication and Disease in Africa

Editors: Bankole Falade and Mercy Murire
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan, Singapore
Publication date: 13 September 2021

Much formal health communication in Africa has been imposed on vulnerable communities in a top-down way. Programmes are often implemented as part of internationally funded projects, filtered down through national and regional level policies and leadership by actors who are not always part of target communities. Outcomes have been mixed. There have been some inspiring success stories. There have also been disappointments with communication programmes not achieving their anticipated changes in health behaviours most likely to facilitate prevention, care or treatment of health problems.

This ambitious and important collection tackles the challenges facing health communicators head-on—highlighting how health information and communication strategies often fail to take adequate account of vital influences on health behaviours.

Garbage in Popular Culture: Consumption and the Aesthetics of Waste

Editors: Mehita Iqani
Publisher: The State University of New York (SUNY),  New York
Publication date: July 2021

Garbage in Popular Culture is the first book to explicitly link media discourse, consumer culture and the cultural politics of garbage in contemporary global society. It makes an original contribution to the areas of consumer culture studies, visual culture, media and communications, and cultural theory through a critical analysis of the ways in which waste and garbage are visually communicated in the public realm. Mehita Iqani examines three key themes evident in the global representation of garbage: questions of agency and activism, cultures of hedonism and luxury, and anxieties about devastation and its affect. Each theme is explored through a number of case studies, including zero-waste recycling campaigns communicated on Instagram, to fine art made with waste, popular entertainment festivals, tropical beach tourism, and films about oil spills and plastic waste in oceans. Iqani argues that we need a new vocabulary to think about what it means to be human in this new age of consumption-produced waste, and reflects on what rubbish allows us to learn about our relationship with the natural world.

2019

Science Communication in South Africa: Reflections on Current Issues

Editors: Peter Weingart, Marina Joubert and Bankole Falade
Publisher: African Minds
Publication date: 28 November 2019

Why do we need to communicate science? Is science, with its highly specialised language and its arcane methods, too distant to be understood by the public? Is it really possible for citizens to participate meaningfully in scientific research projects and debate? Should scientists be mandated to engage with the public to facilitate better understanding of science? How can they best communicate their special knowledge to be intelligible? These and a plethora of related questions are being raised by researchers and politicians alike as they have become convinced that science and society need to draw nearer to one another.

Once the persuasion took hold that science should open up to the public and these questions were raised, it became clear that coming up with satisfactory answers would be a complex challenge. The inaccessibility of scientific language and methods, due to ever increasing specialisation, is at the base of its very success. Thus, translating specialised knowledge to become understandable, interesting and relevant to various publics creates particular perils. This is exacerbated by the ongoing disruption of the public discourse through the digitisation of communication platforms. For example, the availability of medical knowledge on the internet and the immense opportunities to inform oneself about health risks via social media are undermined by the manipulable nature of this technology that does not allow its users to distinguish between credible content and misinformation.

In countries around the world, scientists, policy-makers and the public have high hopes for science communication: that it may elevate its populations educationally, that it may raise the level of sound decision-making for people in their daily lives, and that it may contribute to innovation and economic well-being. This collection of current reflections gives an insight into the issues that have to be addressed by research to reach these noble goals, for South Africa and by South Africans in particular.

2017

Evidenz und Medien. Journalistische Wahrnehmung und Darstellung wissenschaftlicher Ungesichertheit

Editors: Guenther, L.
Publisher: Springer VS
Publication date: 2017

In this book (Evidence and Media. Journalistic perception and representation of scientific uncertainty), Lars Guenther analyses the reasons for the respective reporting on scientific evidence by science journalists against the background of the tension between science, journalism and the public. The results of our own studies, which summarise the findings from content analyses and surveys, point to the dominant role of the audience: Journalists make their decision on how scientific evidence is presented primarily dependent on how strongly they believe that their readers and listeners expect that research results should be presented in a secure or unsecured manner.

Perspektiven der Wissenschaftskommunikation im digitalen Zeitalter

Editors: Weingart P., Wormer H., Wenninger A., & Hüttl R. F.
Publisher: Velbrück Wissenschaft
Publication date: 5 December 2017

The book (Perspectives on science communication in the digital age) deals with different perspectives of science communication in the digital age. Scientists, politicians and journalists have their say. The publication was created as part of the project “Communication between science, the public and the media (phase 2): Significance, opportunities and risks of social media”.

The Future of Scholarly Publishing: Open Access and the Economics of Digitisation

Editors: Peter Weingart and Niels Taubert
Publisher: African Minds
Publication date: 28 September 2017

The formal scientific communication system is currently undergoing significant change. This is due to four developments: the digitisation of formal science communication; the economisation of academic publishing as profit drives many academic publishers and other providers of information; an increase in the self-observation of science by means of publication, citation and utility-based indicators; and the medialisation of science as its observation by the mass media intensifies. Previously, these developments have only been dealt with individually in the literature and by science-policy actors.

The Future of Scholarly Publishing documents the materials and results of an interdisciplinary working group commissioned by the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities (BBAW) to analyse the future of scholarly publishing and to make recommendations on how to respond to the challenges posed by these developments.

As per the working group’s intention, the focus was mainly on the sciences and humanities in Germany. However, in the course of the work it became clear that the issues discussed by the group are equally relevant for academic publishing in other countries. As such, this book will contribute to the transfer of ideas and perspectives, and allow for mutual learning about the current and future state of scientific publishing in different settings.

The Social Dynamics of Open Data

Editors: Francois van Schalkwyk, Stefaan Verhulst, Gustavo Magalhaes, Juan Pane and Johanna Walker
Publisher: African Minds
Publication date: 12 December 2017

The Social Dynamics of Open Data is a selection of peer reviewed papers presented at the 2nd Open Data Research Symposium (ODRS) held in Madrid, Spain, on 5 October 2016.

Research is critical to developing a more rigorous and fine-combed analysis not only of why open data is valuable, but how it is valuable and under what specific conditions. The objective of the Open Data Research Symposium and the subsequent collection of chapters published here is to build such a stronger evidence base. This base is essential to understanding what open data’s impacts have been to date, and how positive impacts can be enabled and amplified. Consequently, common to the majority of chapters in this collection is the attempt by the authors to draw on existing scientific theories, and to apply them to open data to better explain the socially embedded dynamics that account for open data’s successes and failures in contributing to a more equitable and just society.

2016

Die Berichterstattung über (Un)Gesichertheit. Journalistische Wahrnehmung und Darstellung wissenschaftlicher Evidenz

Editors: Guenther, L.
Publisher: Wiesbaden: VS
Publication date: 2016

The delusion of knowledge transfer: the impact of foreign aid experts on policy-making in South Africa and Tanzania

Editors: Francois van Schalkwyk, Stefaan Verhulst, Gustavo Magalhaes, Juan Pane and Johanna Walker
Publisher: African Minds
Publication date: 12 December 2017

The Social Dynamics of Open Data is a selection of peer reviewed papers presented at the 2nd Open Data Research Symposium (ODRS) held in Madrid, Spain, on 5 October 2016.

Research is critical to developing a more rigorous and fine-combed analysis not only of why open data is valuable, but how it is valuable and under what specific conditions. The objective of the Open Data Research Symposium and the subsequent collection of chapters published here is to build such a stronger evidence base. This base is essential to understanding what open data’s impacts have been to date, and how positive impacts can be enabled and amplified. Consequently, common to the majority of chapters in this collection is the attempt by the authors to draw on existing scientific theories, and to apply them to open data to better explain the socially embedded dynamics that account for open data’s successes and failures in contributing to a more equitable and just society.

Wissenschaftskommunikation zwischen Risiko und (Un)Sicherheit

Editors: Ruhrmann, G., Kessler, S. H., and Guenther, L.
Publisher: Herbert von Halem
Publication date: 2016

The title of the book in English is Science communication between risk and (in) security. Reports on science, technology and their consequences can be found in the press, on the radio and in the online media. The scientific (in) security of the underlying research has recently become the focus of public attention. Not only researchers talk about it, it is also reported in the press, television and on the Internet. Risks are quickly mentioned.

2015

Wissenschaftliche Politikberatung im Praxistest

Editors: Weingart P., Wagner G. G.
Publisher: Velbrück Wissenschaft
Publication date: 2015