Research Topic

Role of Immersive Media in Public understanding of Socio Scientific Issues (SSIs)

About this Research Topic

Socio Scientific Issues (SSIs) can be captioned as socially significant real-world problems which are grounded in science. These issues usually arise from social and political controversies and demand strong evidence-based communication and science/scientific reasoning. SSI communicators usually emphasize filling this gap with a better understanding of society by underlining the role of situational, environmental, and psychological factors. In the current era, effective SSI communication is all about using science practices and content to establish a social connection through Information Communication Technology (ICT) which helps to change public perception and attitude towards these issues. In other words, it is all about maximizing the perception of relatedness and reducing the psychological and cognitive distance which can be only achieved by provoking emotive belief, moral and cognitive reasoning. In the contemporary academic understanding, examples of SSIs include climate change, science, and scientific literacy, health-protective behaviors, among others.

Immersive Media (IM) (i.e. 3D content, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, 360º imagery or video) provides a higher degree of vividness and helps to amplify the feeling of spatial presence by offering the illusion of a non-mediated environment, which can be used to reduce the psychological and cognitive gap by experiencing the distant phenomenon as discussed above. It offers an opportunity to better understand the abstract risks associated with SSI’s. The role of IM in SSI communication is not restricted to communication about the ‘Nature of Science’ (NoS) (processes and concepts), it can also help in penetrative thinking, creativity, viewer engagement, and steps towards cognitive reaction. The aim of this call is to explore the role of immersive media in communicating SSIs. The purpose of the current Research Topic is to address conceptual and empirical contributions to the role of immersive media in public understanding of SSIs in the formal (classrooms) and informal (the general public) learning environment.
The potential topics include, but are not limited to:
• The role of immersion, presence, flow, illusion, situated cognition, and psychological ownership to map cognitive reactions towards SSIs.
• The effectiveness of immersive media in individuals’ personal, cognitive and moral development while addressing cultural, discourse, case-based, and NoS related issues in SSI.
• Developed conceptual or theoretical Immersive media-based environment/framework(s) to communicate issue-oriented science.
• How a media-rich environment can help to improve individuals’ socio-scientific literacy, resource belief, and self-efficacy to explore and understand SSI.
• Communicating and learn about mitigating and adapting strategies for SSIs (i.e. Climate Change) in a media-rich environment.
• Examine persuasive psychological behavioral modeling to understand citizens’ engagement, attitude, and intentions to use immersive media for understanding and exploring SSIs.


Keywords: Immersive media, Socio-Scientific Issues, SSI education, SSI learning, informal learning, participating in SSI learning, collective response to SSI


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Socio Scientific Issues (SSIs) can be captioned as socially significant real-world problems which are grounded in science. These issues usually arise from social and political controversies and demand strong evidence-based communication and science/scientific reasoning. SSI communicators usually emphasize filling this gap with a better understanding of society by underlining the role of situational, environmental, and psychological factors. In the current era, effective SSI communication is all about using science practices and content to establish a social connection through Information Communication Technology (ICT) which helps to change public perception and attitude towards these issues. In other words, it is all about maximizing the perception of relatedness and reducing the psychological and cognitive distance which can be only achieved by provoking emotive belief, moral and cognitive reasoning. In the contemporary academic understanding, examples of SSIs include climate change, science, and scientific literacy, health-protective behaviors, among others.

Immersive Media (IM) (i.e. 3D content, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, 360º imagery or video) provides a higher degree of vividness and helps to amplify the feeling of spatial presence by offering the illusion of a non-mediated environment, which can be used to reduce the psychological and cognitive gap by experiencing the distant phenomenon as discussed above. It offers an opportunity to better understand the abstract risks associated with SSI’s. The role of IM in SSI communication is not restricted to communication about the ‘Nature of Science’ (NoS) (processes and concepts), it can also help in penetrative thinking, creativity, viewer engagement, and steps towards cognitive reaction. The aim of this call is to explore the role of immersive media in communicating SSIs. The purpose of the current Research Topic is to address conceptual and empirical contributions to the role of immersive media in public understanding of SSIs in the formal (classrooms) and informal (the general public) learning environment.
The potential topics include, but are not limited to:
• The role of immersion, presence, flow, illusion, situated cognition, and psychological ownership to map cognitive reactions towards SSIs.
• The effectiveness of immersive media in individuals’ personal, cognitive and moral development while addressing cultural, discourse, case-based, and NoS related issues in SSI.
• Developed conceptual or theoretical Immersive media-based environment/framework(s) to communicate issue-oriented science.
• How a media-rich environment can help to improve individuals’ socio-scientific literacy, resource belief, and self-efficacy to explore and understand SSI.
• Communicating and learn about mitigating and adapting strategies for SSIs (i.e. Climate Change) in a media-rich environment.
• Examine persuasive psychological behavioral modeling to understand citizens’ engagement, attitude, and intentions to use immersive media for understanding and exploring SSIs.


Keywords: Immersive media, Socio-Scientific Issues, SSI education, SSI learning, informal learning, participating in SSI learning, collective response to SSI


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

10 August 2021 Abstract
08 December 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

10 August 2021 Abstract
08 December 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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