Science communication in an age of risk: a case study of two biosecurity incursions

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dc.contributor.advisor Goode, L en McEntee, Marie en 2012-04-03T02:22:48Z en 2006-05 en
dc.identifier.citation Sub type: Master's Thesis. Supervisors: Goode L. The University of Auckland, May 2006 en
dc.identifier.uri en
dc.description.abstract In an age of risk where scientific experts are increasingly questioned and decisions challenged, the call for the emergence of a more democratic and participatory science is timely. This new style of science involves wider stakeholder input into scientific decision-making to ensure processes are more inclusive, interactive, transparent, socially robust and accountable. In a risk society it is believed media play a crucial role as the guardians of public interest and the site for public contestation of risks. This research examines the global debate about science, society, media and risk through an assessment of two New Zealand case studies where scientific bureaucracies, communities and media interacted over a biosecurity issue that involved health risks. During the past decade, residents of Auckland have been subjected to two major aerial spray operations involving the widespread application of biological insecticide, to control invasive exotic moths as part of New Zealand’s biosecurity response. The eradication of white-spotted tussock moth from east Auckland and the painted apple moth campaign in west Auckland, both generated high levels of media interest and public concern surrounding known and unknown risks associated with the aerial spraying of insecticide over populated areas. Using content analysis of newspapers and personal interviews with key stakeholders, this research examined the way media portrayed these biosecurity events and the factors that influenced the coverage. Using this information, the programmes were then examined within the wider participatory science framework. Results showed that media coverage was affected by the extent to which scientific bureaucracies included or excluded the public, media and outside expertise in programme delivery. When local stakeholders were excluded and official communication limited, media coverage was more critical, placed more emphasis on risk and acted as an avenue for opposition voices to express their views. Scientific bureaucracies need to step beyond the narrow operational focus of their statutory responsibilities, and engage meaningfully with all stakeholders affected by such programmes, to build consensus based on mutual trust and understanding. en
dc.description.uri en
dc.publisher ResearchSpace@Auckland en
dc.relation.ispartof Masters Thesis - University of Auckland en
dc.rights.uri en
dc.subject Participatory Science en
dc.subject Risk Communication en
dc.subject Biosecurity en
dc.subject Media Communication en
dc.title Science communication in an age of risk: a case study of two biosecurity incursions en
dc.type Thesis en The University of Auckland en Masters en
dc.rights.holder Copyright: The author en
dc.rights.accessrights en
pubs.elements-id 279203 en Science en School of Environment en
pubs.record-created-at-source-date 2012-01-25 en

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