Special Issue on Stories in Science Communication: JCom

October 31, 2018
Call for Papers
Journal of Science Communication

Call for papers


In many of the ways in which science and society interact, stories play a crucial part. Science communication can be summed up very briefly as the stories that society tells about science. At the April 2018 conference of PCST (Public Communication of Science and Technology network), stories were a headline theme, and described as “the soul of science communication”.

The theme of stories was approached at the conference from many different perspectives, from analyses of the types of story told in media reports or in popular culture representations of science, to the demonstration of storytelling techniques in science communication training. ‘Story’ was variously used to refer to the narrative or argument of advocacy for science, as nearly equivalent to ‘history’, or as the object of collaboration or conflict between various actors in science communication.

JCOM, the Journal of Science Communication, aims to take the exploration further through a set of papers that look at stories in science communication. The invitation is extended to those who presented papers at PCST 2018 conference. The contributions need not be limited to what was presented at the conference, but can be derived from such presentations, perhaps reflecting further thought prompted by participation in the conference.

We welcome unpublished papers from across the world, from contributors with different backgrounds and who look at the issue with diverse perspectives and methodological approaches. Submissions are invited that explore stories as part of the changing landscape of science communication, focusing on any of the wide range of institutions and publics in science communication, whether that communication happens in museums, science centres, festivals, traditional media, social media, public spaces, entertainment or artistic contexts.

We invite those interested to submit initially a 1 000-word outline of their paper. From these, the editors will make a selection of those who will be invited to complete their paper, either as a research article (typically 5 000 – 7 500 words), practice insights (3 000 – 5 000 words) or an essay (3 500 – 4 500 words). On the basis of the initial submissions, the editors will make suggestions as to how they would wish to see the paper elaborated, but all completed manuscripts will be subject to peer review.

Key dates:

  • Proposals, with outlines of papers, must be received by 31 October 2018.Proposals should be sent to Marina Joubert (marinajoubert@sun.ac.za) in the first instance.
  • Completed manuscripts must be received by 31 January 2019. These should be submitted via JCOM (https://jcom.sissa.it/jcom --> submit an article for a Special Issue --> PCST Stories).
  • Intended publication date: May 2019
  • Expected contributors: PCST 2018 conference presenters.
Guest editors

The editors of this special issue of JCOM are

  • Lloyd Davis, University of Otago, New Zealand;
  • Marina Joubert, Stellenbosch University, South Africa;
  • Jennifer Metcalfe, Econnect Communication, Australia

You are welcome to write to marinajoubert@sun.ac.za if you have any further questions.