Reputation in science and prominence in the media: the Goldhagen debate

Weingart P, Pansegrau P (1999)
Public Understanding of Science 8(1): 3-16.

Journal Article | Published | English

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Abstract
This paper argues that in media reporting on science, media prominence competes with scientific reputation. That is, in certain cases the media compete with science, both in terms of knowledge claims and in terms of the internal mechanisms of self-direction. This implies that in cases where scientific and media evaluations diverge, the media's control over public attention opens the possibility that priority-setting and evaluation within science are no longer the exclusive orientation criteria for the public's willingness to grant financial support. Taking Luhmann's theory of functional differentiation as a starting point in conjunction with "news-value-theory," the argument assumes that the media have different criteria than the sciences for selecting scientists and their topics as worthy of reporting (and attributing prominence), an area where the sciences have internal processes of attributing reputation on the basis of excellence in research. The case investigated is the reception of Daniel Goldhagen's book Hitler's Willing Executioners in the German print media over a period of about ten months in 1996-1997. The case demonstrates how media evaluation differed markedly from the judgment by the historical community and provided Goldhagen with a tremendous public prominence.
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Weingart P, Pansegrau P. Reputation in science and prominence in the media: the Goldhagen debate. Public Understanding of Science. 1999;8(1):3-16.
Weingart, P., & Pansegrau, P. (1999). Reputation in science and prominence in the media: the Goldhagen debate. Public Understanding of Science, 8(1), 3-16.
Weingart, P., and Pansegrau, P. (1999). Reputation in science and prominence in the media: the Goldhagen debate. Public Understanding of Science 8, 3-16.
Weingart, P., & Pansegrau, P., 1999. Reputation in science and prominence in the media: the Goldhagen debate. Public Understanding of Science, 8(1), p 3-16.
P. Weingart and P. Pansegrau, “Reputation in science and prominence in the media: the Goldhagen debate”, Public Understanding of Science, vol. 8, 1999, pp. 3-16.
Weingart, P., Pansegrau, P.: Reputation in science and prominence in the media: the Goldhagen debate. Public Understanding of Science. 8, 3-16 (1999).
Weingart, Peter, and Pansegrau, Petra. “Reputation in science and prominence in the media: the Goldhagen debate”. Public Understanding of Science 8.1 (1999): 3-16.
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