CfP Science Communication: Linking Theory and Practice

cover science communicationCall for papers for a special issue of Science Communication: Linking Theory and Practice, Communicating science visually in the digital age. The recent advent of new communication and representation tools and technologies has created a myriad of new potentialities and new realities in the creation and dissemination of science visuals, both within and outside of the scientific disciplines. This trend has also raised questions about the use and impact of these visuals. Science visuals have progressed beyond simple tables and graphs to include digitized schematics and simulations, interactive computer graphics, and even video games, in addition to film, video, and photographic treatments. Computerization gives the creator new power to shape representations and thus invite new interpretations of information. In this call we intend the term visualization to include any kind of representation that relies on “pictures” (broadly defined) rather than solely on language, text, or numbers. 

cover science communicationCall for papers for a special issue of Science Communication: Linking Theory and Practice, Communicating science visually in the digital age. The recent advent of new communication and representation tools and technologies has created a myriad of new potentialities and new realities in the creation and dissemination of science visuals, both within and outside of the scientific disciplines. This trend has also raised questions about the use and impact of these visuals. Science visuals have progressed beyond simple tables and graphs to include digitized schematics and simulations, interactive computer graphics, and even video games, in addition to film, video, and photographic treatments. Computerization gives the creator new power to shape representations and thus invite new interpretations of information. In this call we intend the term visualization to include any kind of representation that relies on “pictures” (broadly defined) rather than solely on language, text, or numbers.Visuals can both provide an entry point to science for people without scientific training but also trivialize or confuse people about science through the range of possible interpretations of imagery.  They may also encourage creative thinking within science. This special issue will bring together research that considers the changes in science visualization considered across a variety of disciplines to encourage synergy among divergent approaches and provide a resource for communication, teaching, and future research.

This special issue will focus on whether and how visuals and visualization technologies (old and new) and the broader access that they may provide are affecting science communication.  Questions to be addressed include how science is represented visually, how visuals influence public perceptions and understandings of science, and what is ultimately the impact of new science visualization technologies both within the disciplines and in the public sphere.  Papers can address such topics as:

  • the impact of visualization techniques and technologies on public understanding/perceptions
  • the ethics of visual science communication
  • how scientific results are represented using new visualization technologies, along with the implications of these representations
  • visual metaphors, rhetoric, and framing in science visualization
  • the changing use of visuals within science disciplines and what this means
  • the use of iconic science imagery and its effects on emotion and public perception
  • power issues related to the use of visuals and the public accessibility of science
  • visuals and their reception in the science museum/center and/or other particular contexts

This is not intended to be an exhaustive list but only a starting point. Theory-based papers with an empirical or analytical focus and using any quantitative or qualitative methodology will be considered.  All papers submitted will be subject to a rigorous and competitive peer review
process.

Timeline and requirements
Papers are due April 1, 2014 for publication likely in late 2014 or early 2015.  Earlier submissions are very strongly encouraged. Mention the special issue in your cover letter. Papers should follow the Science Communication guidelines for length and format; submit at mc.manuscriptcentral.com/sc.  Our ideal manuscript is between 7000 and 9000 words, inclusive of notes, references, and other material. Additional guidelines can be found at scx.sagepub.com. Queries regarding the special issue can be addressed to guest editor Mary Nucci at  mnucci@rutgers.edu or to the journal’s editor, Susanna Priest, at  editorscicom@gmail.com.