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Researchers hype institutions, study finds

Scientists are growing more prone to promoting their research institution when talking about their work to the media, a Danish study has concluded.

The study, by University of Copenhagen researcher Maja Horst, found that scientists could go into three different modes of behaviour when discussing their work with the media: the expert, where the scientist represents their own research; the research manager, where they talk about research carried out at their university to improve the institution’s image; and the guardian of science, where they try to make their research more understandable to the public.

Horst found that it was becoming more common for scientists to act as research managers, trying to boost their institution’s reputation. She interviewed 20 researchers in nano-and biotechnology, and the results were published in the Science Communication journal.

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