Gadflies biting science communication: engagement, tricksters and ambivalence online

Jonathan Mendel, Huake Riesch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
153 Downloads (Pure)


Large-scale online science communication and engagement projects can assume an overly ordered and sterile type of online public space or civil society. Against this, the paper offers a vision of more carnivalesque spaces for online science communication and engagement. Participants in these spaces taking the role of tricksters disrupting the status quo might offer new opportunities for engagement, play and politics online: the online public sphere for discussing science is broken, and we should look for ways to break it better. Acknowledging the limitations of a trickster-like approach, we also consider the ambivalence inherent in carnivalesque play as engagement practice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)673-684
Number of pages14
JournalScience Communication
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 13 Oct 2017


  • blogging
  • Internet
  • tricksters
  • trolling
  • ambivalence
  • agenda setting


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