Rethinking the Translation and Dissemination Paradigm:
Insights from Science Communication Research for Health Services Ex...
The Popularization and Dissemination Model
@MCNisbet
 Engages attentive “issue public” who can
comment, share, and repurp...
More Knowledge = More Disagreement?
@MCNisbetNisbet, M.C. & Markowitz, E. (2014). Understanding Public Opinion in Debates ...
Framing and the Shift in Support for Health Care Reform
Competing Arguments and Polarized Views
@MCNisbetHenderson, M, Hil...
Telling More Engaging Stories
Audience Segmentation and Framing Research
@MCNisbet
Telling More Engaging Stories
Audience Segmentation and Framing Research
@MCNisbet
Audience Segmentation and Public Perceptions
@MCNisbetEdward Maibach
In Depth Interviews w/ 70 subjects by Segment
@MCNisbetMaibach, E., Nisbet, M.C. et al. (2010). BMC Public Health 10: 299.
Segment 4-6:
Sentence Specific Reaction to Essay
@MCNisbet
-10
-8
-6
-4
-2
0
2
4
6
8
10
O1 O2 O3 O4 O5 T1 T2 T3 T4 T5 T6 T...
Provoking Anger Across Audience Segments:
Identifying Boomerang Effects
@MCNisbetMyers, T., Nisbet, M.C., Maibach, E.W., &...
Cultural Cognitions and Worldviews
Policy Options and Social Identity Matters
@MCNisbethttp://www.culturalcognition.net/
Expert Organizations as Honest Brokers:
Expanding the Policy Options Considered
@MCNisbetPielke, R. (2007). The Honest Bro...
Public Engagement and Dialogue Model:
Deliberative Forums, Public Meetings, Digital News Forums
@MCNisbet
Seeks to “democ...
Worldwide Views on Biodiversity
@MCNisbet
www.ClimateShiftProject.org
@MCNisbet
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Rethinking the Translation and Dissemination Paradigm in Health Policy Communication: Insights from Research on Science Policy Debates

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As I detail in this presentation, there are four broad conclusions from past research on science policy debates that are important for health services experts and their organizations to consider and that challenge the contemporary translation and dissemination paradigm.

First, is that the traditional goal of dissemination and translation – e.g. to boost technical knowledge – is a relatively ineffective way to influence public judgments and decisions.

In highly contested political environments, the impact of knowledge often varies by way of an individual's political identity, such that well-educated individuals from different social groups tend to be the most divided in their opinions. In this context, even carefully crafted efforts to influence those individuals holding factually incorrect beliefs; may only serve to reinforce those beliefs. Other research suggests that when dissemination, translation and media outreach efforts intensify, it is often the best educated who benefit from the increased access to information as lower socio-economic, and/or minority populations remain inattentive and disengaged. In all, disseminating and translating expert knowledge via ever more sophisticated multimedia tools and online platforms may in fact only strengthen political disagreement among already highly informed partisans while simultaneously failing to engage historically under-served segments of the public.

Second, based on this research, social scientists recommend that effective communication focus on “framing” or conveying the social relevance of an issue while fitting information to the existing values, mental models, experience, and interests of an intended audience. These strategies are enhanced if experts partner with everyday opinion-leaders who are trusted among a targeted group, who can pass on information by way of word of mouth and social media, and who thereby shape impressions within their social networks about what is socially desirable and acceptable.

Third, simply applying research to the formulation and design of a broader based communication strategy is not enough. Health services experts also need to carefully consider the role they play as policy advisors. In overcoming the polarized perceptions that tend to derail substantive discussion of policy, health services experts and their organizations may be most effective if they adopt the role of “honest broker,” expanding and diversifying the policy choices and options considered by decision-makers.

Finally, health services experts and their organizations can benefit by pooling their resources and investing in localized public and media forums where decision-makers, stakeholders and members of the public learn, debate, and participate by offering their own recommendations and solutions to health services problems. This local and regional engagement at a time of gridlock at the Federal level can catalyze new ideas, leaders, and networks of political cooperation.

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  • Blind spot for gas and oil prices. States and cities where we live, we depend considerably less on low gas prices. Earn more money, therefore absorb volatility in gas prices, we don’t directly depend on gas for our profession or jobs, and we drive considerably less. MA 8,000, VT 11,000 ME 10,000 DC 5,700, MS 13K, OK 12K
  • Blind spot for gas and oil prices. States and cities where we live, we depend considerably less on low gas prices. Earn more money, therefore absorb volatility in gas prices, we don’t directly depend on gas for our profession or jobs, and we drive considerably less. MA 8,000, VT 11,000 ME 10,000 DC 5,700, MS 13K, OK 12K
  • Blind spot for gas and oil prices. States and cities where we live, we depend considerably less on low gas prices. Earn more money, therefore absorb volatility in gas prices, we don’t directly depend on gas for our profession or jobs, and we drive considerably less. MA 8,000, VT 11,000 ME 10,000 DC 5,700, MS 13K, OK 12K
  • Blind spot for gas and oil prices. States and cities where we live, we depend considerably less on low gas prices. Earn more money, therefore absorb volatility in gas prices, we don’t directly depend on gas for our profession or jobs, and we drive considerably less. MA 8,000, VT 11,000 ME 10,000 DC 5,700, MS 13K, OK 12K
  • Blind spot for gas and oil prices. States and cities where we live, we depend considerably less on low gas prices. Earn more money, therefore absorb volatility in gas prices, we don’t directly depend on gas for our profession or jobs, and we drive considerably less. MA 8,000, VT 11,000 ME 10,000 DC 5,700, MS 13K, OK 12K
  • Rethinking the Translation and Dissemination Paradigm in Health Policy Communication: Insights from Research on Science Policy Debates

    1. 1. Rethinking the Translation and Dissemination Paradigm: Insights from Science Communication Research for Health Services Experts @MCNisbet Matthew C. Nisbet Associate Professor School of Communication American University Washington D.C. AcademyHealth Workshop Washington, DC 4.28.14
    2. 2. The Popularization and Dissemination Model @MCNisbet  Engages attentive “issue public” 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 experts, can build personal brand, increase citation impact, influence scientific peers, and develop skills and experience.
    3. 3. More 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.
    4. 4. Framing and the Shift in Support for Health Care Reform Competing Arguments and Polarized Views @MCNisbetHenderson, M, Hillygus, DS (2011) The dynamics of health care opinion, 2008 - 2010: partisanship, self-interest, and racial resentment. Journ health politics, policy and law: 945-60.
    5. 5. Telling More Engaging Stories Audience Segmentation and Framing Research @MCNisbet
    6. 6. Telling More Engaging Stories Audience Segmentation and Framing Research @MCNisbet
    7. 7. Audience Segmentation and Public Perceptions @MCNisbetEdward Maibach
    8. 8. In Depth Interviews w/ 70 subjects by Segment @MCNisbetMaibach, E., Nisbet, M.C. et al. (2010). BMC Public Health 10: 299.
    9. 9. Segment 4-6: Sentence Specific Reaction to Essay @MCNisbet -10 -8 -6 -4 -2 0 2 4 6 8 10 O1 O2 O3 O4 O5 T1 T2 T3 T4 T5 T6 T7 B1 B2 B3 B4 C1 C2 DISENGAGED DOUBTFUL DISMISSIVE POPULATION Maibach, E., Nisbet, M.C. et al. (2010). BMC Public Health 10: 299.
    10. 10. Provoking Anger Across Audience Segments: Identifying Boomerang Effects @MCNisbetMyers, T., Nisbet, M.C., Maibach, E.W., & Leiserowitz, A. (2012). Climatic Change.
    11. 11. Cultural Cognitions and Worldviews Policy Options and Social Identity Matters @MCNisbethttp://www.culturalcognition.net/
    12. 12. Expert Organizations as Honest Brokers: Expanding the Policy Options Considered @MCNisbetPielke, R. (2007). The Honest Broker: Making Sense of Science in Policy and Politics. New York: Cambridge University Press.
    13. 13. Public Engagement and Dialogue Model: Deliberative Forums, Public Meetings, Digital News Forums @MCNisbet Seeks to “democratize” the governance of complex policy decisions and choices.  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.
    14. 14. Worldwide Views on Biodiversity @MCNisbet
    15. 15. www.ClimateShiftProject.org @MCNisbet

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