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date: 09 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

To explore how interpersonal interactions affect popular understanding of science, this chapter discusses the ways in which social interaction affects understanding of science among individuals outside of scientific institutions, the emergence of scientists as important social network hubs and nodes, dimensions of social networks that affect discussion of science, and message and context factors that appear to facilitate or temper the diffusion of information related to science, including rumor. Interpersonal communication concepts and evidence offer much to science communication scholars and practitioners concerned with public understanding but important work remains to be done. The review concludes with several research questions that warrant future attention and hold implications for policymakers.

Keywords: social network, diffusion, science communication, rumor, interpersonal communication, public understanding

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