At Big Think, Thoughts on Framing, Dawkins, Climate Change, and the "Paradigm Sheep" in Science Communication
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."
Back in July, I sat down for an hour long interview with the new TED-like social media site Big Think. The innovative project features "hundreds of hours of direct, unfiltered interviews with today's leading thinkers" segmented by topic category and spliced into 3 to 4 minute conversations.
The general focus of the interview was on the nature of strategic communication with an emphasis on science and environmental topics. Big Think has organized the conversations into 11 different sections. I link to several of these below with the description from the site. The themes will be familiar to readers of this blog and to others who have followed the Framing Science debate.
Public Relations for Science
The same concepts that apply to a political campaign also work when communicating science explains Matthew Nisbet.
Wagging the Dog: Media and Public Policy
Matthew Nisbet emphasizes the cyclical nature of the relationship between public policy and media.
Barack Obama as a Master Communicator
Matthew Nisbet explains Obama's appeal.
The Pros and Cons of Richard Dawkins
Matthew Nisbet walks a fine line in the age-old debate between religion and science.
Explaining the Paradigm Sheep
Matthew Nisbet explains an article that documents the history of a paradigm shift in the public relationship to science.
Studying Audience Behavior
New campaigns often use the same techniques to communicate, however Matthew Nisbet points out that this involves more than simplification
Crisis Communication 101
PR advice to politicians from expert Matthew Nisbet.
Outlining Successful Strategies
The best communicators focus on motivation, emotion, and framing, explains Matthew Nisbet.
Balancing Education and Entertainment
Matthew Nisbet says campaigns must first garner attention, then deliver useful information.
Delay, deny and deflect were the strategies Facebook has used to navigate scandals it's faced in recent years, according to the New York Times.
- The exhaustive report is based on interviews with more than 50 people with ties to the company.
- It outlines how senior executives misled the public and lawmakers in regards to what it had discovered about privacy breaches and Russian interference in U.S. politics.
- On Thursday, Facebook cut ties with one of the companies, Definers Public Relations, listed in the report.
Protected animals are feared to be headed for the black market.
Sure we know it would be bad, but what do all of these scary numbers really mean?
- At the press time, the value was $21.7 trillion dollars.
- Lots of people know that a default would be bad, but not everybody seems to get how horrible it would be.
- While the risk is low, knowing what would happen if a default did occur is important information for all voters.
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