The project, which we call "Science communication: Actions and reactions on the 2009 swine flu outbreak", is a cross-disciplinary, explorative study of how scientific knowledge travel and is transformed from a scientific institution (The Norwegian Institute of Public Health) through the mass media and is received by policy makers and the general public. We will follow the process of communication of medical knowledge about the H1N1 Swine flu outbreak of 2009 and the related preventive measures taken. We will explore how the medical scientists at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health experience that scientific knowledge is transformed as it is broadcasted through the media and finally how it is understood and valued by politicians and the public. Base d on a media search we will select a small number of news reports and analyse the message in these news reports in comparison to e.g. scientific reports and press releases from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health. Subsequently, we will interview the involved scientists to explore their motivation and experiences of the interaction with the journalists and political decision makers. We will also interview newspaper editors about the media strategy and understanding of the swine flu incident. And final ly we will interview political decision makers and members of the public regarding their assessment of the published stories and how their own reactions and actions were connected to the information from the Institute of Public Health or the news stories. Thus, we have multiple angles to our study of science communication; the premises, the clarity and the credibility of scientific information in a public health campaign.
Funding source: The Norwegian Research Council