At AAAS, a Focus on Framing Science
Matthew C. Nisbet, Ph.D. is Associate Professor of Communication Studies, Public Policy, and Urban Affairs at Northeastern University. Nisbet studies the role of communication and advocacy in policymaking and public affairs, focusing on debates over over climate change, energy, and sustainability. Among awards and recognition, Nisbet has been a Visiting Shorenstein Fellow on Press, Politics, and Public Policy at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, a Health Policy Investigator at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and a Google Science Communication Fellow. In 2011, the editors at the journal Nature recommended Nisbet's research as “essential reading for anyone with a passing interest in the climate change debate,” and the New Republic highlighted his work as a “fascinating dissection of the shortcomings of climate activism."
Yesterday at AAAS, a crowd of 250 attendees overflowed into the hallway, as we gathered for a fascinating panel discussion about media coverage of climate change. The amazingly successful event was organized by Cristine Russell of Harvard University and the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing.
Andrew Revkin shared his observations as an agenda-setter in covering the story for the NY Times and more recently in launching the Pulitzer worthy blog Dot.earth. Revkin reports that the blog now has more than 300,000 monthly readers. In my presentation, I discussed how research in the area of framing and media influence explains the remaining perceptual gridlock on climate change, focusing on some of the issues I raise in this recent Skeptical Inquirer Online column. The discussants for the panel were John Holdren of Harvard and David Dickson of SciDev.net. Discover magazine has been blogging from the conference and has posted this full summary of the remarks.
Later this afternoon at 145pm, there will be more focus on the relationship between framing, news coverage, and public opinion at the panel on Communicating Science in a Religious America. Here's a little teaser on some of the research findings from our study of news coverage. Over the past twenty years, which organization has been by far the most successful at creating news pegs around science and religion? AAAS? National Academies? ....Nope. The answer is the Templeton Foundation.
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