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Neurosciences in German and US Mass Media

"Normative expectations in media coverage of research as a form of informal science governance"

The project investigates the possible steering effects of public communication on neuroscientific research. To this end, we are analysing the portrayal of neuroscientific research in the mass media, especially with regard to the compatibility or incompatibility of research with society's expectations, which may be manifested in the moral assessment of research or the resulting medical and potential non-medical applications.

In addition, we are using social science interviews with researchers to analyse the way in which the neuroscientific science community perceives this coverage and responds to it. We assume that the sensitivity of the science community towards public expectations resulting from the need for legitimation can be understood as a form of informal social steering of science ("governance"). In order to determine the impact of various regulatory contexts, cultural factors and forms of medialization, the project compares Germany and the United States.

The project is implemented in cooperation with the University of Wisconsin-Madison, School of Journalism & Mass Communication, USA, and supported by a grant of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) in the context of its research programme "New Science Governance - Research on the Relationship of Science, Politics and Society"

Project duration:2010-2012
Scientific project leader:Prof. Dr Hans Peter Peters
Research scientists:
Joachim Allgaier Ph.D.
Yin-Yueh Lo M.Sc.
Cooperation partners:
Prof. Dominique Brossard, University of Wisconsin
Prof. Sharon Dunwoody, University of Wisconsin