Relatively little social and behavioral research has received media attention, as compared with natural science research. This issue has acquired particular importance in recent years because of growing demands that research findings have an impact. Indeed, increasingly, the proposal has been that the value of research should be judged by its practical payoff. Consequently, it has been suggested that a key element for increasing and improving the use of social science knowledge by policymakers lies in the effective dissemination of research results beyond academic or professional means of diffusion.

There is no doubt that there are plenty of reasons why social scientists should be dissatisfied with the ways in which social science knowledge is presented in the mass media. Unlike the case for natural science knowledge, ...

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