Scientists’ Views about Communication Objectives

This study investigates the objectives that motivate scientists’ public communication activities. Using surveys of five different U.S.-based scientific societies (N=1,685), we examined how scientists prioritized eight different science communication objectives (e.g., ensuring the public is informed about scientific issues, demonstrating the scientific community’s expertise, etc.). Scientists’ attitudes, normative beliefs, efficacy beliefs, demographics, past communication activity, training, and past thinking about objectives predicted the degree to which they said they would prioritize these objectives in the context of face-to-face public engagement. This study lays the groundwork for assessing factors that communication trainers may work to reshape if they want to help scientists consider specific science communication objectives in order to improve the effectiveness of their efforts.