Translating Technology, Science and Health: Public Information Officers as Knowledge Transfer Intermediaries

Judith McIntosh White 1 *

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PIOs (PIOs) link transfer of technology/science/health knowledge between researchers and journalists. PIOs’ orientation toward acquiring technology/science/health knowledge is important to PIOs’ choices of education, training, and occupational experience. The purpose of this study was (1) to conceptualize a way to measure such orientation, using descriptive data from an Internet survey of a random sample of PIOs to construct an exploratory scale to measure technology/science/health orientation (TSHO) and (2) to test the constructed TSHO scores as predictors of PIOs’ job performance. Results showed respondent PIOs’ calculated TSHO scores to range from 0 to 5 (out of a possible maximum of 6), with a mean of 2.38 and a mode of 2. TSHO score was a statistically significant predictor for variety of story topics covered by PIOs but not of number of scientist sources used in their information subsidies. Further research and analysis are needed to validate scale construction and to test its predictive ability across additional samples.


science PIOs health PIOs science orientation knowledge transfer coverage predictors


This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Article Type: Research Article

Online Journal of Communication and Media Technologies, Volume 2, Issue 2, pp. 103-125

Published Online: 24 Apr 2014

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