I am a social scientist at the Research Center Jülich and Adjunct Professor of Science Journalism at the Free University of Berlin.
My scientific interests are in the domain of Public Communication of Science and Technology (PCST) and Public Understanding of Science with an emphasis on empirical research and international comparisons. I am editor of the journal Public Understanding of Science.
Most of my research has dealt with public perception, public attitudes and public communication about nuclear power, climate change, genetic engineering, biomedicine and neuroscience. A particular focus was on scientists as media sources and public communicators – and on their role as “public experts” in environmental and risk issues.
Currently, I try to help understanding the consequences of three trends for science communication: (1) increasing strategic orientation of scientific communicators and its possible repercussions on science, (2) rise of the “public engagement” paradigm with its challenge of the traditional boundary between science and the public, and (3) science communication in an Internet-based media system with alternative paths to the public sphere and new communicators, media, gatekeepers and selection criteria.