Vicsek Lilla
Science Communication and Public Understanding of Science and Technology


Intézmény: Budapesti Corvinus Egyetem
média-és kommunikációs tudományok
Társadalmi Kommunikáció Doktori Iskola

témavezető: Vicsek Lilla
helyszín (magyar oldal): BCE Társadalmi Kommunikáció Doktori Iskola, Bp. 1093 Közraktár u. 4-6.
helyszín rövidítés: TKDI

A kutatási téma leírása:

A number of social scientific analyses have argued that it is important to study the relationships between science and society to gain a deeper understanding of how these fields influence each other (Hornig Priest 2010). One field of Science in Society research is science communication. Science communication deals with the presentation of science and technology in the media and also its impact on the population, as well as the difference of the understanding of science by members of the lay public versus scientists/experts.There are more and more research projects investigating these issues in the West where this has become a flourishing, bourgeoning, innovative research field with a wide array of top journals focusing on these issues. However, compared to Western European countries and the USA, this field is neglected by communication research in Hungary, so it has vast unexploited potential – both from the point of basic and applied research.I have accumulated some knowledge in this field and would be happy to pass it over to a Ph.D. student.
Possible focus of Ph.D. work of this orientation could be:
- Public understanding of science and technology in Hungary and the influence of media on it: either science and technology in general – or focusing on a concrete scientific development, technology (such as artificial intelligence, robots, surveillance technologies, alternative renewable energysources, nuclear power,genetic tests, gene therapy, therapeutic cloning, genetically modified crops, stem cell research, neuroscience, reproductive technologies, biobanks, etc).

It can be interesting to study how the lay view is similar to and different from the view of the experts, scientists and role of the media coverage. The question of public understanding of science and technology is often regarded to encompass something wider than just knowledge about the technologies, to also include affective components and behavioral components. Different models of public understanding of science (PUS) have emerged over time in the social sciences. Deficit models of PUS have emphasized that the lay public is irrational and illiterate with respect to science and technology matters and if it were properly educated then it would have a positive attitude towards science – as positive attitudes were regarded by this model to be the proper attitudes towards science issues (Bucchi, 2008). This perspective has envisioned ‘a singular Olympian objective body of scientific knowledge at the mercy of the vagaries of lay public ignorance’ (Ezrahi, 2008, p. 183). However, research has since then has shown that negative evaluation of technoscience innovations in many cases cannot be traced back to a purely information deficit as the deficit model supposes (Bucchi, 2008). In recent decades more positive views on PUS have emerged that do not treat PUS as just an ‘impoverished or quantitatively inferior version of expert knowledge’ (Bucchi, 2008, p. 60), but rather acknowledge that it is something qualitatively different (Irwin & Wynne, 2004). Some authors even reject use of the term public understanding because they see it as linked to the deficit model – while others use it in a more general sense in the meaning of public perception/attitudes without the implications of the deficit model (Bauer, 2009). The role of the media has also been investigated in a range of research projects, with the used models growing more complex and taking into account the role of the internet, as well as the flow of influence from the public to the media sources.

References – Useful for further reading
• See the journal Science Communication, and Public Understanding of Science for cutting edge research
• See: Bucchi, M. (2008) Of deficits, deviations and dialogues – Theories of public communication of science. In M. Bucchi& B. Trench (Eds.), Handbook of public communication of science and technology, pp. 57-76 (New York, NY: Routledge) for public understanding of science models. Available online at:
• My previous work on the public understanding of genetically modified crops and stem cell research/therapyin Hungary and how this has been influenced by the media framing (here what I found most interesting that it seems from the results how the media can influence people even in case of topics which are quiet neglected in the media and which are at the periphery of their interest, or even topics which they know little about): These can be found at the university repository
Vicsek, Lilla (2014): GM Cropsin Hungary: ComparingMass Media Framing and Public Understanding of TechnoscientificControversy, Science asCulture (2012 ImpactFactor: 0.489), Published online 20 February 2014,
Vicsek, Lilla (2013): “Gene-fouledorgene-improved?” Media framing of GM crops and foodin Hungary, New Genetics and Society (2012 5-year ImpactFactor: 1.245), 32(1),54-77.
Vicsek Lilla (2011): Costs and benefits of stemcellresearch and treatment: mediapresentation and audienceunderstandingin Hungary, Science Communication(2011. impactfactor: 2.077), 33 (3), 309-340. (
Vicsek, Lilla - Gergely, Júlia (2011): Media presentation and publicunderstanding of stemcells and stemcellresearchin Hungary, New Genetics and Society(2011. impactfactor: 1.027), 30 (1),1-26.

előírt nyelvtudás: angol
felvehető hallgatók száma: 3

Jelentkezési határidő: 2018-01-31

Minden jog fenntartva © 2007, Országos Doktori Tanács - a doktori adatbázis nyilvántartási száma az adatvédelmi biztosnál: 02003/0001. Program verzió: 2.2358 ( 2017. X. 31. )