Rebecca B. Carver
There is growing competition among publicly funded scientific institutes and universities to attract staff, students, funding and research partners. As a result, there has been increased emphasis on science communication activities in research institutes over the past decade. But are institutes communicating science simply for the sake of improving the institute’s image? In this set of commentaries we explore the relationship between science communication and public relations (PR) activities, in an attempt to clarify what research institutes are actually doing. The overall opinion of the authors is that science communication activities are almost always a form of PR. The press release is still the most popular science communication and PR tool. There is however disagreement over the usefulness of the press release and whether or not gaining public attention is actually good for science.
Press releases — the new trend in science communication
Research institutions: neither doing science communication nor promoting ‘public’ relations
The changing rationale of science communication: a challenge to scientific autonomy
Frank Marcinkowski, Matthias Kohring
Public relations as science communication