Academic journal article Asian Social Science

Analysis of the "Publicity" of Network Community of Science Communication - Case Studies of Guokr.com and Songshuhui-Association of Science Communicators

Academic journal article Asian Social Science

Analysis of the "Publicity" of Network Community of Science Communication - Case Studies of Guokr.com and Songshuhui-Association of Science Communicators

Article excerpt

1. Proposal of Research Questions

With advent of scientific revolution once again worldwide, network virtual community which has arisen over the past few years has offered brand-new approaches to scientific communication for network users by virtue of its powerful internet interactive platform. In network virtual community, opinion leaders of network community of science communication are qualified to set up topics of discussion for scientific community and spread scientific knowledge and information to common users of the community. Community members are also entitled to build and share scientific knowledge information, pictures and videos and express their opinions and viewpoints with freedom. They gather together based on common interest and form a social and civic community which takes interest in science and technology affairs. An individual of the community no longer passively and totally accepts all scientific knowledge information of content producers. Instead, he absorbs information in a reflective and critical way. In the public sphere of science communication, an individual of the community is entitled to make independent self-decision on the scientific and technical affairs which he shows interest in and in which he actively takes part. In this way, his subject consciousness gets released to the largest extent. How does the network virtual public space established by scientific social contact media reflect "publicity" of the community? At present, which crises are encountered by "publicity" of network community of science communication? This paper takes Guokr.com and Songshuhui-Association of Science Communicators as a case study and makes profound analysis of the above issues based on the research perspective of public sphere.

2. Study on Relevant Theories in Public Sphere

The concept of public sphere was firstly put forward by the German American Hannah Arendt and the German scholar Jürgen Habermas. In 1958, Hannah Arendt, for the first time, put forward the concept of public sphere. In her book "The Human Condition", she mentioned, "the word 'public' means two phenomena that are closely connected but are not totally identical. Any phenomenon that is displayed to the public sphere has to be seen and heard by each person and has the maximum publicity." (Note 1) In 1961, Habermas conducted a profound research on evolution and transition of public sphere. According to his theory, public sphere and life world are two closely connected concepts. He pointed out in his theoretical works "Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere", "if a communication action does not take its root in a backdrop of life world which offers large-scale background consensus, such a risk will lead to the result that language use inclined to mutual understanding does not fulfill social integration. At the very beginning, a communication action is set in a shared atmosphere that has no doubt. In the meantime, it obtains nutrient from those resources which it has got familiar with quite earlier."

(Note 2) In this sense, he believes that life world is a source for all elements in the public sphere and constitutes understanding of the public in daily living practice in the public sphere and a context in which the public reach a consensus based on their understanding. The following three factors are required to constitute a public sphere. Firstly, it is the public who have critical consciousness and have independent personality and critical spirit and who are able to participate in any discussion on a rational basis regarding problems of public interest. Secondly, it is the media that can communicate freely and fully. Finally, it is to form public opinions. In a public sphere, the public may make discussion with freedom and communicate fully concerning public topics and public affairs and reach a consensus on a rational and critical basis, which will form public opinions.

3. Science Communication from the Perspective of Public Sphere: Construction of Public Sphere with Science Communication

The word "science communication" was, at the earliest, used by the British scholar J. …

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