World Federation of Science Journalists

Scientists Respect Science Journalists


July 7, 2008

The more often scientists interact with science journalists, the more they appreciate their work.

This statement is not in the paper, "but it is still true", said Hans Peter Peters, main author of the study to the World Federation of Science Journalists. "There is indeed a small, yet statistically significant, association between frequency of contact and general evaluation of contacts: the more contact, the more positive the evaluation (of the work of the journalists)." "... overall the actual experiences of scientists with the media do not discourage them to agree to further contacts", said Dr. Peters.

Dr. Peters and his colleagues of the team that conducted the survey have accepted to respond to your comments posted on the WFSJ website about the paper published in the 11 July 2008 edition of Science. We have posted an excerpt from a previous exchange with him as the first comment, below.

The authors of the study conclude: "interactions between scientists and journalists are more frequent and smooth than previously thought". They state that the communication of science to the public "may be a global phenomenon in democratic knowledge societies".

This is exactly what the Constitution of the World Federation of Science Journalists says!

The 5-country study was entirely funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) as part of the research initiative "Knowledge for decision-making processes - research on the relationship between science, politics and society". Information about that research program can be found at http://www.sciencepolicystudies.de/en/index.htm

Read the news releases produced by the different research teams:

-Forschungszentrum Julich (Germany): http://www.fz-juelich.de/portal/index.php?cmd=show&mid=610&index=163
- University of Wisconsin-Madison: http://www.news.wisc.edu/15383
- University College London: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2008-07/ucl-sgh070808.php

and the Science article 'Interactions with the Mass Media' by Hans Peter Peters (Germany), Dominique Brossard (USA), Suzanne de Cheveigné, ( France ), Sharon Dunwoody (USA), Monika Kallfass (Germany), Steve Miller (UK) and Shoji Tsuchida (Japan) in the 11 July 2008 issue of Science. Click here for the article