Read "Online representations of “genome editing” uncover opportunities for encouraging engagement: A semantic network analysis" here.
Here is a brief summary of our findings:
Genome editing technologies are an emerging socio-scientific issue. As Americans are increasingly seeking science information online, it is important to determine how information about genome editing is portrayed online. We conducted a semantic network analysis, a type of content analysis that characterizes related concepts in text and develops a representative network through the analysis of concept associations, on the most prominent online information sources, Wikipedia and Google. We found that genome editing is represented on Wikipedia in largely technical terms, as supported by frames, including methodology/terminology, applications, common approaches, and DNA repair mechanisms. Similar results were identified for the Google webpages, with frames related to scientific contributions, applications, and methodology/terminology.
Results suggest that technical science terminology and an overall neutral sentiment dominate these online representations, indicating that there is a lack of hype around these sources. Our findings suggest that there is ample opportunity for the scientific community to promote public discourse around the benefits and pitfalls of genome-editing technologies, as these aspects are largely overlooked in online sources of information. These efforts may aid in bridging the gap between public stakeholders and scientists.