Public Communication of Research Universities : ‘Arms Race’ for Visibility or Science Substance? book cover
1st Edition

Public Communication of Research Universities
‘Arms Race’ for Visibility or Science Substance?

ISBN 9780367461355
Published May 14, 2022 by Routledge
320 Pages 43 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This book analyses communication of university research institutes, with a focus on science communication. Advancing the ‘decentralisation hypothesis’, it asserts that communication structures are increasingly built also at ‘subordinate unit’ levels of research universities.

The book presents a cross-country systematic comparison of institutes’ communication activities showing ongoing transformations in their communication capabilities and practices. It considers a potential ‘arms race’ in activities, professionalisation, motivations, and evaluation. Based on empirical evidence from an international study carried out in various countries across Europe, the Americas, and Asia, the book examines the possibilities for civic science communication in this new context. 

It will be of interest to scholars and students of Communication Studies, STS, and Science Communication as well as to those taking or leading courses in the fields of Sociology, Public Relations, Marketing, Environmental and Risk Communication, Innovation Studies, and Social Psychology. It is an essential resource for funders, practitioners, teachers, and students dealing with science communication and the position of science in society.

Table of Contents


1. Public Communication Activities of Research Institutes: Setting the Stage with the Decentralisation Hypothesis

2. Why and How to Sample Research Institutes: Methodological Challenges


3. Professionalizing the Communication of Research Institutes

4. Public Duty or Self-Interest? Public Communication of University-Based Research Institutes after an Era of Governance Reforms in Europe

5. Perceived Successfulness of Public Engagement at Research Institutes

6. An Emerging "Arms Race": Resourcing the Public Communication Effort

7. Public Engagement Profiles and Types of Research Institutes


8. The Communication of Research in Italy: The Efforts of Academia and Research Institutes

9. Public Engagement at Research Institutes in the Netherlands: Fertile Territory or Terra Nullius?

10. US American Scholars are Finding Paths to Engagement through their Research Institutes and Centers

11. Public Communication in Japanese Research Institutes: Still Dark or Sunrise?

12. Communicative Dispositions of British Research Institutes

13. Public Engagement Activities of German Research Institutes: A Tale of Two Worlds

14. ‘Research Excellence’ and Public Communication in Portugal


15. Studying Public Communication of Research Institutes: Sample Design and Data Collection

16. Framework and Indicators of Public Communication of Research Institutes

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Marta Entradas is Assistant Professor at the Department of Sociology at Iscte-Lisbon University Institute and Visiting Fellow at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). She is a former Marie Curie Fellow at LSE (2016–18), and Fulbright Scholar at Cornell University (2015–16). In a current FCT-funded project (grant PTDC/COM-OUT/30022/2017), she is leading a cross-national study examining public communication at central communication offices at research universities. She received her Ph.D. in Science and Technology Studies (STS) from UCL in 2011. She is the 'European Young Researcher (EYRA) Award' 2016 winner (Euroscience).

Martin W. Bauer read Psychology and Economic History (Bern, Zurich and London) and joined London School of Economics and Political Science LSE in the mid-1990s, after a post-doctoral fellowship at the Science Museum London. Professor of Social Psychology and a former Head of the LSE Methodology Department (2008–2010), he currently directs the Msc Social & Public Communication. He is a former Editor-in-Chief of the international journal Public Understanding of Science (2009–2016) and a regular academic visitor in Brazil (Porto Alegre, Campinas and Rio) and recently also to China, where he co-directs the Centre for Study of Science Cultures, an LSE-NAIS-Tsinghua University venture in Beijing.