Twenty Years of Evolving Models of Science Communication
@MCNisbet
Matthew C. Nisbet
Associate Professor
School of Communi...
The Popularization and Dissemination Model
@MCNisbet
 Engages a core audience of science
enthusiasts who can comment, sha...
Popularization & The Cycle of Hype
@MCNisbet
 Emphasis by funding agencies on broader
impacts puts pressure on scientists...
More Scientific Knowledge = More Disagreement?
@MCNisbetNisbet, M.C. & Markowitz, E. (2014). Understanding Public Opinion ...
More Carl Sagans?
Social Identity and Communication Behavior
@MCNisbet
More Carl Sagans?
Social Identity and Communication
@MCNisbet
Nisbet, M.C. & Markowitz, E. (in press). Experts in an Age o...
The Strategic Communication Model
Messaging By Audience Segment and By Way of Opinion Leaders
@MCNisbet
Strategic Communication Campaigns:
Frictions and Trade-Offs
@MCNisbet
 Raises questions about conflict of interest and
ma...
Public Engagement and Dialogue Model:
Deliberative Forums, Public Meetings, Digital News Forums
@MCNisbet
Seeks to “democ...
Worldwide Views on Biodiversity
@MCNisbet
Stakeholder Driven Science and Lay Expertise Model
@MCNisbet
Research that effectively addresses the needs of
society req...
www.ClimateShiftProject.org/NASInterface
@MCNisbet
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Twenty Years of Evolving Models of Science Communication

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Carl Sagan and Neil deGrasse Tyson have come to symbolize the dominant "popularization" approach to science communication, a model that has been embraced with renewed enthusiasm among young scientists as they have experimented with and developed a variety of digital and social media tools. Yet this dominant approach to science communication is not without several key imitations, pitfalls and trade-offs.

In a March 29, 2014 talk as part of the "Sharing Science" conference held at the University of British Columbia, I reviewed major areas of research, analysis and debate relevant to twenty years of evolving models and approaches to science communication. At the link below you find related readings and studies on each of the models reviewed.

http://climateshiftproject.org/2014/03/28/university-of-british-columbia-sharing-science-conference-twenty-years-of-evolving-models-of-science-communication/

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Twenty Years of Evolving Models of Science Communication

  1. 1. Twenty Years of Evolving Models of Science Communication @MCNisbet Matthew C. Nisbet Associate Professor School of Communication American University Washington D.C. The Sharing Science Conference University of British Columbia 03.29.14
  2. 2. The Popularization and Dissemination Model @MCNisbet  Engages a core audience of science enthusiasts who can comment, share, and repurpose.  Can reach through incidental exposure non- attentive, broader publics.  Can shape the decisions and thinking of policymakers, journalists and funders.  For scientists, can build personal brand, increase citation impact, influence scientific peers, and develop skills and experience.
  3. 3. Popularization & The Cycle of Hype @MCNisbet  Emphasis by funding agencies on broader impacts puts pressure on scientists and institutions to “oversell” their findings.  Media coverage emphasizes near term societal benefits and market development with less emphasis on uncertainty and possible risks.  Hype risks credibility and trust in science and may undermine ability to do basic research.  Increasingly defines science and higher education in terms of economic development and job growth.
  4. 4. More Scientific Knowledge = More Disagreement? @MCNisbetNisbet, M.C. & Markowitz, E. (2014). Understanding Public Opinion in Debates Over Biomedical Research: Looking Beyond Partisanship to Focus on Beliefs about Science and Society. PLoS ONE 9(2): e88473.
  5. 5. More Carl Sagans? Social Identity and Communication Behavior @MCNisbet
  6. 6. More Carl Sagans? Social Identity and Communication @MCNisbet Nisbet, M.C. & Markowitz, E. (in press). Experts in an Age of Polarization: Evaluating Scientists’ Engagement with Politics and Civic Life. Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science.
  7. 7. The Strategic Communication Model Messaging By Audience Segment and By Way of Opinion Leaders @MCNisbet
  8. 8. Strategic Communication Campaigns: Frictions and Trade-Offs @MCNisbet  Raises questions about conflict of interest and manipulation.  Difficulty coordinating message strategy across groups and organizations.  Often serves to increase polarization and divisions. Increased targeting = increased echo chambers.  Does strategic communication lead to effective policy?  Under what conditions does broader public matter to policymaking?  Defines public as spectators, consumers or voters but not as active participants in decisions.
  9. 9. Public Engagement and Dialogue Model: Deliberative Forums, Public Meetings, Digital News Forums @MCNisbet Seeks to “democratize” the governance of science and technology.  Can enhance civic capacity of regions, creating opportunities to debate and collaborate. Can increase participant trust and knowledge, soften group differences and polarization. Informs policy options, adapts knowledge to localized contexts or specialized cases. Questions regarding representativeness and reach, giving visibility to minority views, or criticized as just another “public relations” strategy.
  10. 10. Worldwide Views on Biodiversity @MCNisbet
  11. 11. Stakeholder Driven Science and Lay Expertise Model @MCNisbet Research that effectively addresses the needs of society requires “co-production” with public. Emphasis on research that is useable, problem solving and socially acceptable; aligning research efforts with national, state or local needs. Promotes enhanced trust, appreciation and support for research institution among public, stakeholders and policymakers. Can be time consuming, resource intensive, “messy,” does not fit easily with traditional collaboration, publication and credit model.
  12. 12. www.ClimateShiftProject.org/NASInterface @MCNisbet
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