The March for Science: Partisan protests put public trust in scientists at risk

May 1, 2017– On April 22, thousands of scientists and their supporters gathered in Washington, D.C., and at more than 600 other locations across the world to participate in the March for Science. Pegged to Earth Day, protesters voiced their opposition to proposed federal cuts to funding for scientific research and the planned rollback of […]

Models of knowledge-based journalism: Brokering knowledge, dialogue, and policy ideas

April 1, 2017— In 2013’s Informing the News, the eminent journalism scholar Thomas Patterson comprehensively reviewed the evidence in support of the well-worn criticisms of our contemporary news system. Journalists too often: give equal weight to accurate representations and faulty facts and flawed opinions, focus on conflict and strategy over substance, and favor personalities, dramatic […]

To survive the Trump years, scientists need to invest in social change strategies

January 1, 2017 —As newly elected president Donald Trump takes office, the scientific community faces the likelihood not only of unprecedented cuts in government funding for research, but also of bold new attacks on scientific expertise as a basis for policy making and decisions. Trump campaigned on a pledge to eliminate as much as $100 million […]

The superbug crisis: False beliefs about antibiotics are a global threat

January 1, 2017 — As millions of Americans visit their health care providers this winter complaining of a cold, surveys suggest that one in four will be expecting their provider to prescribe them an antibiotic, falsely believing that the antibiotic will help them recover more quickly from the virus (Watkins et al. 2015). The demand […]

The science literacy paradox: Why really smart people tend to have the most biased opinions

September 1, 2016 —When presented with contradictory evidence about a politically contentious issue, it’s easy to fall into the trap of reacting emotionally and negatively to that information rather than responding with an open mind. We may not only discount or dismiss such evidence, we are also likely to quickly call into question the credibility of […]

Climate change communication, energy politics, and journalism: Syllabus and schedule

September 1, 2016–In this advanced seminar, students apply research and best practices to communicating about and reporting on climate change and energy issues. Course work prepares students for careers in journalism, advocacy, government, and strategic communication. Students analyze major debates over the environment, climate change, and related technologies; assessing how they are portrayed by experts, advocates, […]