Science public relations: The parallel, interwoven, and contrasting trajectories of public relations and science communication theory and practice

Matthew S. VanDyke, Nicole M. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

There are parallels, intersections, and contrasts between how theory and practice in the public relations and science communication literatures have evolved. Given the need for systematic evidence-based theory to inform communication practice in both contexts, and the need for critical inquiry into the values and power structures that define and reinforce theory and practice in these domains, this manuscript: (1) highlights three areas—the trend toward engagement and participation, issues management in science, and practitioner roles and training—to demonstrate unique and complementary areas of scholarly interest in public relations and science communication, and (2) argues for focused programmatic inquiry in science public relations. Perspectives are offered for how a science public relations research program might advance, including examples of scholarship from public relations, science communication, political communication, and environmental communication.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101953
JournalPublic Relations Review
Volume46
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2020
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Deficit model
  • Dialogue
  • Participation
  • Public engagement
  • Public relations
  • Science communication
  • Trust
  • Two-way communication

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Marketing

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