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Dissemination practices in the Spanish research system : scientists trapped in a golden cage

[journal article]

Torres-Albero, Cristóbal; Fernández-Esquinas, Manuel; Rey-Rocha, Jesús; Martín-Sempere, María José

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Abstract The aim of this paper is twofold. On the one hand, it offers a systematic analysis of the data available regarding Spanish scientists’ dissemination activities; on the other, it seeks to shed light on their behaviour and motivations. To do this, we consider the context of Spanish society and the conditions affecting the work and professional promotion of scientists. We present evidence from two surveys of CSIC researchers and of participants in Spain’s main science fair, with the caveat that the data were obtained in a methodologically favourable scenario. A contrast exists between scientists’ vocation to disseminate and the limitations derived from a low degree of interest in science in Spanish society, together with professional promotion policies that do not give priority to dissemination activities. This leads us to conclude that Spanish scientists are trapped between dissemination activities governed by moral values and a scarcely favourable social and professional context.
Classification Sociology of Science, Sociology of Technology, Research on Science and Technology; Research, Research Organization
Free Keywords public communication of science and technology; role of scientists; science popularization; science profession; Spain
Document language English
Publication Year 2011
Page/Pages p. 12-25
Journal Public Understanding of Science, 20 (2011) 1
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0963662510382361
Status Postprint; peer reviewed
Licence PEER Licence Agreement (applicable only to documents from PEER project)