Popularisation of Science and Science Journalism on Social Media in Slovakia

Norbert Vrabec, Lukáš Pieš

This study focuses on the presentation and interpretation of scientific information and data by Slovak creators on the social platform Instagram. Media content presented on social media often becomes problematic, as popular science posts are more in an entertaining than scientific form. It happens that popular science content is presented inaccurately, without deeper context. In addition, scientific misinformation and misleading information appears, which can pose a danger to audience members who trust such information. Science journalism has found its place not only in traditional media, but also on social media platforms, where problematic information on scientific topics goes viral and achieves a high level of user interaction. In an unregulated or under-regulated social networking environment, it is also more difficult for users to discern the credibility and relevance of the information presented, especially when referring to existing scientific studies or authorities. However, data from these sources may be taken out of context, interpreted in a misleading way or accompanied by completely fabricated or distorted conclusions. Such false scientific content undermines confidence in objective science journalism and discredits the work of science journalists. Several digital tools are now available that can help readers distinguish real scientific information from false information. Critical thinking, media literacy and scientific literacy are key skills that can be used to detect manipulative techniques and navigate the issue of false media content. In this paper, we therefore clarify the importance of media, scientific and information literacy skills to help identify misinformation in media content related to science and research.


Instagram. Popularisation of Science. Pseudoscience. Scientific Information. Science Journalism. Scientific Literacy. Social Media.