The Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC)

Stars  In  Our  Eyes

The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) radio telescope is set to become the largest telescope on Earth, and also the largest science project in Africa. From September 2011 to August 2012, the SKA featured regularly in the South African media. In The Stars in Our Eyes, author Michael Gastrow dissects the representation of the SKA in the South African media in the period under discussion. Who were the main actors in this unfolding narrative? Who held the stage and who were marginalised? Where did gatekeeping occur and why? What was the relationship between journalists and scientists? How did the story unfold in the social media as opposed to the print media? Drawing on mass communication theory and science communication theory, The Stars in Our Eyes: Representations of the Square kilometre Array Telescope in the South African Media addresses critical gaps in the literature on science communication, particularly with respect to science communication in an African context.

Product information

Format : 235mm x 168mm
Pages : 256
ISBN 13 : 978-0-7969-2547-3
Publish Year : November 2017
Rights : World Rights

Figures and tables

Preface

1 High contrast: Astronomy, Africa and the emergence of the SKA as a flagship science project

2 Watching the stargazers: Social science lenses for understanding astronomy, society and the media

3 Gathering the evidence: Finding the SKA in the news and on social media

4 Sending the signal: The social construction of media representations of the SKA

5 A bird’s eye view: Key features and themes of the SKA in the media

6 The World Cup of science: South Africa vs Australia

7 Science and technology: Visions of an African knowledge frontier

8 The Gottschalk Hypothesis: The SKA as a symbol of (South) African science and technology achievement

9 Material benefits: Astronomy and development

10 Who is seen? Who is heard?

11 The blue skies of Africa

Appendix A

Endnotes

References

About the author

Index

Dr Michael Gastrow is a Senior Research Specialist in the Education and Skills Development research programme of the Human Sciences Research Council in South Africa. His research interest is in skills development, innovation, the public understanding of science, and science communication. He holds a PhD from the School of Journalism at the University of Stellenbosch. He has extensive experience in policy-oriented research at the regional, national, and international levels, having conducted research for organisations such as the IDRC, OECD, European Commission, Department of Higher Education and Training, and the National Research Foundation. Gastrow is the author of twelve peer-reviewed scientific papers, and the co-author of one previous publication with the HSRC Press: Kruss, G. and Gastrow, M. 2015. Linking Universities and Marginalised Communities. HSRC Press: Cape Town.

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