Purpose: This paper reports on research exploring the intersections between researchers and communication professionals' perspectives on the objectives, funders and organizational influences on their science communication practices. Design/methodology/approach: Examining one context, the inter-organizational BCDC Energy Research project based at five different research organizations in Finland, this paper presents data from semi-structured interviews with 17 researchers and 15 communication professionals. Findings: The results suggest that performance-based funding policies that drive the proliferation of large-scale research projects can create challenges. In particular, a challenge arises in generating a shared sense of identity and purpose amongst researchers and communication professionals. This may have unintended negative impacts on the quality and cohesiveness of the science communication which occurs. Research limitations/implications: The study was exploratory in nature and focuses on one organizational and institutional environment. Further research with a wider number of projects, as well as funders, would be conducive to a greater understanding of the issues involved. Practical implications: On a practical level, this research suggests that the creation of clearer communications awareness and guidance may be helpful in some large-scale projects, particularly involving broad numbers of organizations, individual researchers and funders. Originality/value: This is one of the first studies examining the perspectives of both researchers and communication professionals working over one project, drawing together a range of different institutional and disciplinary perspectives. The results highlight the importance of the influences of funding on science communication aims, assumptions, cultures and structures. The article articulates the need for further research in this area.
Wilkinson, C., & Koivumäki, K. (2020). Exploring the intersections: Researchers and communication professionals' perspectives on the organizational role of science communication. Journal of Communication Management, 24(3), 207-226. https://doi.org/10.1108/JCOM-05-2019-0072