Exploring Science Communication: Measuring the Effectiveness of Animated Video

Gustav Reiss & Jonathan Keen

Student thesis: Master thesis


Purpose: The purpose of this thesis is to contribute to the existing literature on science communication by exploring different methods of communication with regards to increasing the public’s understanding and acceptance of science. Design/methodology/approach: A quantitative approach was used to empirically test different methods of science communication. Upon reviewing the literature, two main challenges were identified; reducing the level of complexity to improve the understanding of science and mitigating barriers for the acceptance of science. An animated video was chosen as the experimental stimulus as it possessed qualities considered desirable for achieving the set goals. To test its efficiency, a text transcription of the video was used as a control stimulus. Respondents were assessed prior to exposure on their understanding and acceptance of genetic modification. They were then randomised and exposed to one of the stimuli. Thereafter, the respondents were reassessed on their understanding and acceptance. Findings: No significant difference between the two methods were found with regards to changes in understanding and acceptance of genetic modification. However, acceptance was found to increase independently of any increase in understanding. Practical implications: If understanding and acceptance are in fact individual constructs and choice of method is trivial for achieving the goals of science communication, we speculate that much of the theory on science communication must be reassessed. Originality/value: The research conducted in this thesis contributes to existing theory on science communication and barriers for science communication. Moreover, it supplements literature on the deficit model as outdated and inadequate.

EducationsMSocSc in Management of Creative Business Processes , (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2018
Number of pages149
SupervisorsJan Michael Bauer