Freedom of Expression Challenged : Scientists’ Perspectives on Hidden Forms of Suppression and Self-censorship

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http://hdl.handle.net/10138/335212

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Väliverronen , E & Saikkonen , S 2021 , ' Freedom of Expression Challenged : Scientists’ Perspectives on Hidden Forms of Suppression and Self-censorship ' , Science, Technology & Human Values , vol. 46 , no. 6 , 0162243920978303 , pp. 1172-1200 . https://doi.org/10.1177/0162243920978303

Title: Freedom of Expression Challenged : Scientists’ Perspectives on Hidden Forms of Suppression and Self-censorship
Author: Väliverronen, Esa; Saikkonen, Sampsa
Other contributor: University of Helsinki, Mediating expertise: communicating and challenging science
University of Helsinki, Media and Communication Studies

Date: 2021-11-01
Language: eng
Number of pages: 29
Belongs to series: Science, Technology & Human Values
ISSN: 0162-2439
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0162243920978303
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/335212
Abstract: The media have become an important arena where struggles over the symbolic legitimacy of expert authority take place and where scientific experts increasingly have to compete for public recognition. The rise of authoritarian and populist leaders in many countries and the growing importance of social media have fueled criticism against scientific institutions and individual researchers. This paper discusses the new hidden forms of suppression and self-censorship regarding scientists' roles as public experts. It is based on two web surveys conducted among Finnish researchers in 2015 and 2017. We focus on answers to the open-ended questions in these surveys, where respondents reflect upon issues of freedom of expression and the feedback they receive in public arenas. Building on previous research on suppression, "research silencing," and the "chilling effect," we discuss the connection between freedom of expression and freedom of inquiry. We make a distinction between four forms of suppression: political and economic control, organizational control, control between rival academics, and control from publics. Moreover, we make explicit and discuss the means, motives, and practices of suppression within each of these four forms.
Subject: 518 Media and communications
ACADEMIC IDENTITY
INNOVATION
PUBLICS
SCIENCE
TRIPLE-HELIX
academic freedom
freedom of expression
public expertise
science communication
suppression
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