Chapter published in:Science Communication on the Internet: Old genres meet new genres
Edited by María-José Luzón and Carmen Pérez-Llantada
[Pragmatics & Beyond New Series 308] 2019
► pp. 219–238
Public- and expert-facing communication
A case study of polycontextuality and context collapse in Internet-mediated citizen science
This chapter describes a qualitative case study of digitally-mediated production and communication of research in the biological sciences. The study focuses on the citizen science “Heartbeats Project,” conceived by a U.S.-based evolutionary biology lab to explore the data behind the well-known rule that, on average, mammals’ hearts beat one billion times per lifetime. Our analysis describes three ways that polycontextuality and context collapse figured in the team’s production of digital, spoken, and print-based genres arising from their work. These dynamics complicate traditional understandings of the relationships between scientific and public genres, as well as existing conceptions of composition, genre, authors, and audiences in the production and circulation of scientific findings and the (re)production of science.
Keywords: scientific communication, scientific writing, digital writing, digital genres, citizen science, public understanding of science, polycontextuality, context collapse
Published online: 04 December 2019
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