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Project Title:

The Science of Science Communication: A Research Agenda
PIN: DBASSE-DBASSE-15-01        

Major Unit:

Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education

Sub Unit: Ad Hoc Activity

RSO: Welch-Ross, Melissa

Subject/Focus Area: Behavioral and Social Sciences

Project Scope
An ad hoc multidisciplinary committee will produce a report that synthesizes what is known about effective science communication and describes a comprehensive research agenda to improve the communication of science to inform decisions relating to topics that often are contentious. The committee will:

- identify the psychological, social, cultural, contextual, political, and economic factors, media influences, and communications approaches that affect how science relating to a broad range of issues (e.g., childhood vaccinations, nanotechnology, climate change, food safety, healthy behaviors), is understood, perceived and used and how changes in the understanding, perception and acceptance of science occur. 

- examine similarities and differences in the influence of these factors across topics and identify those that if better understood have the greatest potential to improve the communication of science on controversial issues.

- develop a conceptual framework to guide its synthesis and research recommendations with consideration of the following:  communication purpose (goals and objectives); audience; communication setting, tools, devices, social interactions, and networks; communicator qualities; type of media; type of social issue or science domain. 

The research agenda will include priority research topics and questions and describe critical issues related to research design and measurement.

Project Duration: 15 months    

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Committee Membership
Committee Membership

 Meeting 1 - 12/17/2015
 Meeting 2 - 02/24/2016
 Meeting 3 - 04/14/2016
 Meeting 4 - 07/07/2016


Reports having no URL can be seen
at the Public Access Records Office
Communicating Science Effectively: A Research Agenda