The relevance of public relations (PR) efforts of scientific organizations for public communication of science is increasingly recognized. PR departments are not mere mediators between scientists and journalists but represent the stakeholder interests of their organizations in the public sphere and are communicative actors themselves. Previous Taiwanese studies focused on university PR in the educational context, whereas the potential function in the communication of research and scientific knowledge received less attention. This study explores how PR departments of academic organizations in Taiwan view their role in the public communication of science. Insights from eleven semistructured interviews with PR officers suggest that public relations departments of academic organizations in Taiwan only half-heartedly contribute to the communication of science. Another interesting finding is that even in the era of social media science, PR still relies heavily on journalism, which in Taiwan lacks professionalism in the communication of science. We suggest a more active role of academic organizations in the public communication of science, pursuing not only marketing or self-presentation goals, but also assuming genuine responsibility for public information about research and scientific knowledge.
摘要:科研組織中的公關事務與科學傳播間的關聯性日益受到重視, 因為組織中的公關部門不僅作為科學家與記者的媒介, 亦代表組織主事者對於公共領域的興趣, 同時也是實質的傳播者。 過去, 臺灣對大學公關的研究集中在教育的情境脈絡, 較少關注公關部門在推廣研究成果及科學知識溝通的潛在功能。 據此, 本研究探討臺灣科研組織的公關部門如何看待他們自己在科學公共傳播中所扮演的角色。 透過與十一位公關工作者的半結構化訪談, 可以看出台灣科研組織的公關部門對於為科學傳播作出貢獻興趣缺缺。 另一個有趣的發現是, 即使在社群媒體時代, 台灣的科研公關事務在很大程度上仍依賴缺乏科學傳播專業的傳統新聞媒體。 本研究建議科研組織扮演更積極的角色對公眾傳播科學, 在追求自我推銷及展示的目標之餘, 體認科研組織對於傳播學術研究與科學知識訊息的職責。