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Call for Papers

In a time of multiple crises (e.g., Covid pandemic, climate crisis, geopolitical crises such as the war in Ukraine), scientists and engineers are expected to help in approaching wicked problems (Rittel & Webber, 1973) that, in fact, have no solutions. As science communication grapples with the increasing demands of complex issues in globally networked societies, authenticity, or the lack thereof, plays an ever more significant role.

For communicators, authenticity is vital. It makes it more likely for audiences to consider their insights. For science communicators, authenticity is negotiated on different levels (Hendriks et al., 2015). Their roles, for example, as scientists, journalists, or influencers, require staying true to the relevant norms and values of their social role and discipline, while other roles may introduce conflicting demands and values (Saffran et al., 2020). How is authenticity negotiated by different science communicators, and how does it affect their impact on policymakers and the broader public?

Scientific evidence and (allegedly) science-based arguments in mass media and social media have suffered from fake news and misinformation campaigns, while scientists add to the issue through scientific dissent or multiple replication crises across disciplines (Earp & Trafimow, 2015). How can science communication contribute to public science literacy and media literacy, helping individuals assess the authenticity of arguments, evidence, and data, and how can such assessments help people make better science-based decisions?

We want to explore the concept of authenticity in the broadest possible sense. Trust in organisations (Mayer et al., 1995) can be part of our exploration as much as authenticity judgments of scientists and scientific evidence (Anderson et al., 2012; Boyette & Ramsey, 2019). We welcome works on perceptions of trustworthiness and integrity in science communication. Contributions may discuss possible connections between related concepts to draw out differences and overlaps with authenticity.

The 2023 post-conference, Authentic Voices in Science Communication, is planned as a continuation of the Paris 2022 Preconference, The Science of Science Communication: Mapping the Field, and is co-organized by the environmental communication division. We welcome a broad spectrum of
theoretical, methodological, and empirical contributions from all sections of the ICA dealing with authenticity in science communication from a theoretical, conceptual, or empirical perspective.

Contributions can address at least one of the following aspects while referencing the overarching topic of the post-conference, authenticity, in its broadest sense:

  1. The concept of authenticity in science communication and its relationship to integrity and trustworthiness.
  2. Transcultural perspectives on authenticity in science communication.
  3. Science, risk, health, and environmental communication.
  4. Empirical research from various theoretical and methodical perspectives
    a. (new, emerging) communicators,
    b. messages,
    c. (digital, social) media formats,
    d. reception,
    e. and/or effects of science communication.
  5. Theoretical contributions to science communication research.
  6. Methodological contributions to science communication research.
  7. (Public) discourses about norms and ethics in science communication.
  8. Science communication as a profession: skills, education, careers.
  9. New and innovative approaches to science communication from traditional science communication institutions as well as arts, (political) activism, business, etc.

Organized by the Munich Science Communication Lab (LMU Munich) – Bernhard Goodwin & Sabine Reich / Contact: Bernhard Goodwin (goodwin@lmu.de)

Submission Guidelines
We welcome regular and PhD-submissions. All conference submissions must include a separate cover page and extended abstract. The cover page should provide the submission’s title, author information, three to five keywords, and, if applicable, a note identifying the submission as a “Ph.D.
paper” (Ph.D.-student led paper). Works in progress are welcome. The conference organizers support open science practices and accept preregistrations and replications. Extended abstracts must be fully
blinded for reviewing and be limited to a maximum of 800 – 1000 words plus references, tables, and figures.

Please send your conference submissions (cover page and anonymous extended abstract) to scienceofsciencecomm@gmail.com.

The deadline for submissions is January 23, 2023. Submissions will undergo blind peer review, and acceptance notifications will be sent out on February 11, 2023.

Date & Conference Format
Authors of accepted extended abstracts will be able to present their papers live in Toronto on May 30, 2023.

Keynote Speaker is John C. Besley (Michigan State University)

The organizers plan this as a one-day in-person conference, opening with a keynote panel. Accepted submissions will be presented in two or three consecutive panels followed by a networking and reflection session to close out the post-conference.

Conference venue
McLuhan Centre for Culture and Technology (University of Toronto)
39A Queens Park Crescent East, Toronto, Ontario

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