Geoscience on television: A review of science communication literature in the context of geosciences

Rolf Hut*, Anne M. Land-Zandstra, Ionica Smeets, Cathelijne R. Stoof

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Geoscience communication is becoming increasingly important as climate change increases the occurrence of natural hazards around the world. Few geoscientists are trained in effective science communication, and awareness of the formal science communication literature is also low. This can be challenging when interacting with journalists on a powerful medium like TV. To provide geoscience communicators with background knowledge on effective science communication on television, we reviewed relevant theory in the context of geosciences and discuss six major themes: scientist motivation, target audience, narratives and storytelling, jargon and information transfer, relationship between scientists and journalists, and stereotypes of scientists on TV. We illustrate each theme with a case study of geosciences on TV and discuss relevant science communication literature. We then highlight how this literature applies to the geosciences and identify knowledge gaps related to science communication in the geosciences. As TV offers a unique opportunity to reach many viewers, we hope this review can not only positively contribute to effective geoscience communication but also to the wider geoscience debate in society.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2507-2518
JournalHydrology and Earth System Sciences
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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