Science communication and science policy: Estonian media discourse on the Genetic Database Project


Tiiu Hallap


University of Tartu



Abstract. The paper is a reflection on the Estonian media debates on the nation-wide genetic database project (the Estonian Human Genome Project). Its main concern is to consider the position of a non-specialist but reflective reader with respect to the scientific information offered in the media. It is asked whether rhetoric or argument has played a more prominent role in the discussions. Some major topics and attitudes are identified. The observations on the media are put into the context of some well-known theses concerning science communication. The paper also reflects more generally on the topics of informing about science and public participation, considering briefly some recent practical and theoretical developments in science policy in Europe and the US.