Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication


Journalism and Mass Communication

First Advisor

Jan L. Boyles


This research examines how science communicators understand the fields that they write about. This thesis looks at how science communicators become aware of (or “learn about”) the increasingly specialized subfields of science. The thesis also examines how science communicators educate themselves (or “keep up”) with ongoing changes in the field. The study, which integrated a survey with 161 participants and five in-depth interviews, also uncovered the demographics of science communicators, as well as the pressures they face on-the-job. According to the study’s results, there are no ineffective methods for learning about or keeping up with science, indicating that science communicators are using everything at their disposal to become aware of and remain educated about science. Another area looked at was a potential reflection of the relationship between scientists and communicators based on how easy/difficult it was for communicators to get in contact with scientists, and how eager/willing they were to talk to communicators. The findings show that scientist and communicators seem to have positive relationships with each other. These findings all have significance because they can be used by science communicators to improve practices.


Copyright Owner

Brandon Hallmark



File Format


File Size

80 pages

Included in

Communication Commons