Models in Science Communication Policy

  • Per Hetland


Three models of expert-public interaction in science and technology communication are central: the dissemination model (often called the deficit model), the dialogue model, and the participation model. These three models constitute a multi-model framework for studying science and technology communication and are often described along an evolutionary continuum, from dissemination to dialogue, and finally to participation. Underlying this description is an evaluation claiming that the two latter are “better” than the first. However, these three models can coexist as policy instruments, and do not exclude each other. Since 1975, concerns with public engagement over time have led to a mode that is more dialogical across the three models within science and technology communication policy in Norway. Through an active policy, sponsored hybrid forums that encourage participation have gradually been developed. In addition, social media increasingly allows for spontaneous public involvement in an increasing number of hybrid forums. Dialogue and participation thus have become crucial parts of science and technology communication and format public engagement and expertise. 


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