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.
Figures and tables
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
About the author