Some biologists shun new media

March 8, 2013

An online survey of neuroscientists in Germany and the United States found that, although in both countries researchers believe "new media" such as blogs and online social networks are important in influencing public opinion and political decisions, the researchers make little use of new media themselves.

Although think that "new media" such as blogs and have an important influence on public opinion and political decisions, they aren't much inclined to use them themselves to stay informed about developments in science. Rather, they prefer traditional outlets such as newspapers and television. That seems, at least, to be the implication of a study published in the April issue of BioScience.

The study, by Joachim Allgaier of the Jülich Research Center in Germany and four coauthors, examined the opinions of 257 working in Germany and the United States who completed an . Although had a slightly lower opinion of the influence of new media than US scientists, most researchers in both countries thought new media were important even though they made "lackluster" personal use of them. Scientists under 40 made slightly more use of them than older scientists.

The findings could be misleading if those who replied are not typical of neuroscientists, and it is possible that neuroscientists' attitudes are different from those of other biologists. Still, the study is a significant addition to what is known about scientists' communication habits. It suggests, the authors write, that scientists "continue to value the vetting process to which information is subject in media channels."

Explore further: Politicians have less influence through news media

Related Stories

Politicians have less influence through news media

September 8, 2011

News coverage of Washington politicians and their rhetoric appears to have less influence on the American public compared to other news coverage, according to a study by a Michigan State University political scientist.

Social networking top online activity in US

September 13, 2011

US Internet users are spending nearly a quarter of their online time at blogs and social networks, with Facebook the most popular destination, according to a survey released Monday by Nielsen.

Study looks at use of social media in public diplomacy

September 18, 2012

(—The use of social media for the purpose of public diplomacy has increasingly drawn the attention of U.S. diplomacy professionals, observers and political analysts especially after the recent attacks on the U.S. ...

Recommended for you

Chimpanzees shed light on origins of human walking

October 6, 2015

A research team led by Stony Brook University investigating human and chimpanzee locomotion have uncovered unexpected similarities in the way the two species use their upper body during two-legged walking. The results, reported ...

The hand and foot of Homo naledi

October 6, 2015

The second set of papers related to the remarkable discovery of Homo naledi, a new species of human relative, have been published in scientific journal, Nature Communications, on Tuesday, 6 October 2015.

Who you gonna trust? How power affects our faith in others

October 6, 2015

One of the ongoing themes of the current presidential campaign is that Americans are becoming increasingly distrustful of those who walk the corridors of power – Exhibit A being the Republican presidential primary, in which ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.