11:28 AM

Second Reading Quiz: Model Answers

Here are some great answers, taken from your second reading quizzes, to the following questions:

1.    Describe the transmission model of communication, and define its strengths and weaknesses.

The transmission model is the simple mode of a "sender" sending a "message" to a "receiver."  In this model, it is a one way process:

This model does well at describing how many people (definitely scientists) think about communication.  It is simple and straightforward.  It concentrates on the message, emphasizing that it should be clear and easy to understand.  But there is nothing in the model to account for such things as the context the message is being sent in or the ideals, preconceptions, interests, and knowledge of the sender or receiver. 

2.     Provide a more complicated model of communication, and explain why it is better than the transmission model.

This model is better because the method of communication, feedback, and the audience type are specified.  Analysis of this model can consider effectiveness/importance of more factors than the transmission model.

Another possible answer:  the ritual model.  The ritual model emphasizes the surroundings, similar to watching a theatrical performance.  It has 5 components:  act, stage, agent, agency, and purpose.  This model defines the context in more detail than the transmission model.  It also creates multiple paths of communication (it is not one way).

3.     What “news values” are typically supported by science journalists (name and describe at least 4)?

fascination value
importance of the story to society/the reader
natural audience size of the story

4.     How might these news values conflict with the values of science?

A major conflict has to do with fascination.  Sometimes important research is a little dry.  Scientific research would have to be "heart-pumping" to be published.  Most scientific breakthroughs also don't have a large audience.

Scientists are also concerned about how the news will affect their reputation and credibility.  They may wonder if it is actually their obligation to report their work.  Public perception of the science itself can also have an influence on the amount of funding the research gets.

5.     Describe the tension between views of the internet as enabling forms of open and democratic science communication and views that suggest that the internet further enables vested or bureaucratic interests to more tightly manage science communication.

While some people believe the internet is an open and democratic source for science communication, there are others who disagree and point to information embargoes, such as password protected sites and subscriptions.  These embargoes can control science communication in this way.  Most people are forced to get information on the latest scientific news from secondhand sources such as news reports and blogs. In this way, the internet has not done as much to make scientific information more widely available.

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