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Can communication theory advance research when environmental issues become wicked? The case of microplastics

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This commentary reviews current empirical trends focusing on microplastics in the social sciences and discusses how science communication and media research can make meaningful contributions to advancing scientific contributions on social constructions of microplastic pollution. We present our case by defining microplastics as a “wicked” environmental issue, characterized by complexity in many ways. Reviewing scientific literature on microplastics in the social sphere, we reflect on how communication and media studies can contribute relevant insights to advance the empirical knowledge base on microplastic pollution as well as strengthen the theoretical and methodological rigor in these scientific endeavors.

Original languageEnglish
JournalScience Communication
Pages (from-to) 267-276
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2023

    Research areas

  • environmental communication, interdisciplinary science communication, mass media, microplastics, public engagement, public understanding of science

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