Podologues: conversations created by science podcasts
Birch, H. and Weitkamp, E. (2010) Podologues: conversations created by science podcasts. New Media and Society, 12 (6). pp. 889-909. ISSN 1461-4448
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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1461444809356333
Podcasts are media files that can be automatically aggregated and downloaded via the internet, and transferred to portable media players. Combined with online discussion facilities, podcasts represent flexible and potentially valuable tools for communicating about science. This pilot project aimed to assess the role of science podcasts in stimulating discussions, or ‘podologues’, about science through detailed analyses of a sample of five popular science podcasts. Two main methods were used: content analysis of online discussion forums and blogs associated with the five podcasts and interviews with listeners. The results show that podcasts are regarded as valuable sources of scientific information by listeners and that blogs and forums can act as public spaces for audience members to share knowledge, develop their own ideas about science and provide feedback to media producers. Larger, more detailed studies are required to further understand the value of podcasts for stimulating public discourse about science.