ERIC Number: ED218620
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Jul
Reference Count: 0
Public Information Personnel and Scientists.
Dunwoody, Sharon L.; Ryan, Michael
A study examined the attitudes of scientists toward public information personnel and media coverage. Of 456 subjects (half social and behavioral scientists and half biological scientists) chosen randomly from the "American Men and Women of Science" reference books, 287 responded to the seven-page, two-part questionnaire. Part one contained 34 attitude statements, and part two elicited information about the extent to which the scientists worked with public information personnel and about their academic and professional backgrounds. The results indicated that large numbers of scientists work at institutions that have public information offices and that their attitudes toward public information personnel are generally positive. Also, the scientists thought it was important to communicate research results to nonscientists and to learn how to do so effectively. On the negative side, scientists did not use public information personnel often, and sometimes perceived them as a hindrance. Public information personnel might overcome some of these problems by developing formal programs to help scientists to improve their communication skills, by convincing researchers of the importance of working with journalists, by developing formal mechanisms whereby scientists are sought out for story ideas, and by convincing others in the institution not to interfere with scientists' freedom to discuss their research results. (JL)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Education in Journalism (65th, Athens, OH, July 25-28, 1982).