QUEST project, a scientist’s opinion
Interview with Sarah Rachael Davies, from the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies of Culture at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology.
Why did you join the Quest project, what it the value you see in it in terms of what it might help us address?
I think we continue to be in need of thoughtful research into science communication. QUEST offers an opportunity to be involved in such research, at an international and comparative level.
What are the main challenges facing science in the media, in your view? And how might Quest address those?
Journalism generally is undergoing significant structural changes, as legacy media find it harder to survive. Traditional science reporting is under intense pressure. I think one thing that is at stake is critical, investigative science journalism. One of the things that QUEST will do is explore contemporary challenges and practices in science journalism, so my hope is that we will better understand this situation and the extent to which opportunities for ‘slower’ investigation and discussion still exist.
What do you hope Quest project will achieve for science communicators?
Science communication remains a dispersed and multidisciplinary and multi sectoral field. I hope that QUEST can help join some of the dots between, for instance, scholars and practitioners, museums professionals and journalists, or social media specialists and scientists.
What is the state of science communication in Europe? Is it healthy, is there lots of it? Is it critical or mainly promotional – do we know? And is it actually reaching ordinary people?
That’s a big question – and one of the things I think QUEST aims to investigate.