Day One of Venice: Biggest Science Communication Challenge is the Privatization of Research

There was a clear consensus focus to presentations and comments at the first day of the Venice workshop on science communication and public engagement: The biggest future challenge will be the increasing privatization of research and the resulting "hyping" of scientific claims.

In the U.S., when it comes to science communication, conventional wisdom laments either the politicization of science, religious opposition, or perceived public ignorance.

But for many science communication experts, including those here in Venice, the biggest threat to continued public support and trust in science will be privatization, conflicts of interest, and commercial hype. This even extends to university press offices and scientific journals, who as one journalist in attendance put it, appear to be increasingly less interested in communicating about research and more interested in gaining publicity and media prominence.

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