Browsing by Author "van Rooyen, Renier Stephanus"
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- ItemJournalism, revolutionary technologies and preventing future harm: Proposing the flaming torch media ethics theory and the ten tenets field guide for responsible and ethical communication on science and technology’s cutting edge(2022-12) van Rooyen, Renier Stephanus; Geffen, Nathan; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Dept. of Journalism.ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Revolutionary emerging technologies and new scientific discoveries can radically enhance human lives and capabilities, but can also disrupt and harm society – especially if they challenge prevailing world views, established ways of doing things or core human beliefs. And yet, no simple, practical field guide exists for how people, especially science journalists and communicators, ought to talk about technologies and discoveries responsibly so as to limit fear, misinformation and harmful disruption. This study proposes the novel Flaming Torch Media Ethics Theory and its underlying Ten Tenets as the basis for a useful field guide for more responsible, ethical communication of revolutionary technologies and discoveries in the public sphere. A literature review, on key lessons taken from three historical case studies of mass communication efforts relating to the theory of evolution, climate change and nuclear energy, informed the draft version of the theory and its tenets. The theory was then presented, in a set of in-depth interviews, to nine experts from three current emerging technologies – Bitcoin/blockchain, artificial intelligence and human gene editing – to refine the theory and to assess its usefulness. The resulting theory, and the simplified field guide, are presented here. A chief aim was to create a field guide simple enough to be fit for the era of social media, where there is very little control over who communicates what new science or technology to which audience.