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Public communications, internet and citizenship: science popularization on government websites

Grant number: 13/01819-3
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): September 01, 2013
Effective date (End): May 31, 2015
Field of knowledge:Applied Social Sciences - Communications
Principal researcher:Danilo Rothberg
Grantee:Aline Cristina Camargo
Home Institution: Faculdade de Arquitetura, Artes e Comunicação (FAAC). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Bauru. Bauru , SP, Brazil
Associated scholarship(s):14/13042-6 - E-government, public communications and civic engagement: the role of online information to the strengthening of democracy in Brazil and the United States, BE.EP.MS

Abstract

Public communications can embrace the important role of being a tool mediating the integration of science, technology and society. Science popularization through public communication should be seen as a vector for social inclusion and democratization of knowledge, towards a more effective practice of management and social control, pointing to the need of taking the public opinion into account as one of the most relevant indicators for the management of public policies in the area. Among the accomplishments of public communications about science and technology policies in Brazil today, we highlight the webpages of federal units of government, including specific pages of the departments of the area. Policies and programs developed by state management bodies have increasingly been released on the internet, which raises research questions about the quality of the accomplishments in public communications. This project proposes to identify the potential contribution of digital public communication about science and technology to the strengthening of citizenship, considered in its dimension of exercising the right to information. Specific objectives are: a) evaluating the quality of public communication as a digital source of information about the performance of state and federal policies on science and technology in the face of demands for social and economic development and public investment in public higher education systems; b ) investigating the context and depth of information on public policies for science and technology present in e-government portals from 27 Brazilian states in relation to five categories of analysis: history and diagnoses; goals and objectives; public benefit; social impacts; and environmental impacts; c) proposing, with respect to the results achieved about the quality of the digital public communication on science and technology, communication management strategies in e-government portals, directed to improve the availability of information on the performance of public sector policies in that field.

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