Toward narrowing the gap between science communication and science education disciplines

Zehavit Kohen, Yehudit J. Dori

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Science communication and science education aim to expose citizens to scientific knowledge, which is increasingly becoming a prerequisite for effective participation in modern society. We aim to present a review of science communication and science education literature, for highlighting the need for and importance of narrowing the gap between the two communities. Our objective was to find what themes, if any, are common to the two disciplines, based on keyword searches of the literature, that represent overlap constructs between the two communities. We searched for academic articles published from 2000 to 2017 in three science communication journals and three science education journals, which contained the keywords science communication, science engagement and science understanding. A three-stage literature review yielded 70 papers that provided the basis for common theme identification: (i) attitudes towards the importance of science communication, (ii) communication channel types and (iii) scientific knowledge construction. Findings reveal similarities and disparities between the two communities and the stakeholders they investigated. Both communities agree on the meaning of process and product science communication constructs. Yet, while the science education community mainly relates to the product construct, the science communication community mainly relays to the communication construct. We then discuss the value of fostering dialogue between the two communities. Our research contributes to raising the awareness of the value of maintaining ongoing dialogue between science communication and science education communities, accounting for the three common themes we have identified, implying that a common language is emerging, and the variety of stakeholders involved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)525-566
Number of pages42
JournalReview of Education
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 British Educational Research Association


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