Some decades ago, John Ziman (1968) characterized science as “public knowl-

edge,” constituted in an important way by its communication system. The

“public” that Ziman referred to was not voting citizens or the mass media

audience but rather the “free, intellectual consensus” of other scientists (p. 145),

and much of the subsequent research on scientific communication has been

devoted to characterizing expert interchange within the scientific community as it

sets itself apart from the “lay,” “non-expert,” or general public. Increasingly,

however, communication with that wider public has been of interest, a develop-

ment due in part to the reversals of public deference to expertise of the late

1960s and to governmental concern for acceptance of public projects and public

funding of research (Cooke, 1991; Gaskins, 1992). This newer focus has given

rise to several subspecialties (such as risk communication) and scholarly forums

(such as Public Understanding of Science). One recent example is the 2012

National Academy of Science Sackler Colloquium on “The Science of Science

Communication,” which had as one of its main goals “To improve understanding

of relations between the scientific community and the public” (National Academy

of Sciences, n.d.).