Uncritical and unbalanced coverage of synthetic biology in the Nordic Press

Mirco Ancelotti, Niklas Holmberg, Mikael Lindfelt, Stefan Eriksson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Synthetic biology will probably have a high impact on a variety of fields, such as healthcare, environment, biofuels, agriculture, and so on. A driving theme in European research policy is the importance of maintaining public legitimacy and support. Media can influence public attitudes and are therefore an important object of study. Through qualitative content analysis, this study investigates the press coverage of synthetic biology in the major Nordic countries between 2009 and 2014. The press coverage was found to be event-driven and there were striking similarities between countries when it comes to framing, language use, and treated themes. Reporters showed a marked dependence on their sources, mainly scientists and stakeholders, who thus drives the media agenda. The media portrayal was very positive, with an optimistic look at future benefits and very little discussion of possible risks.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)1–16
JournalPublic Understanding of Science
Publication statusPublished - 2015
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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