Nature Nanotech Editor on Framing as the New Communication Paradigm
Artist rendition of nanobot assisting in reproduction.
As I highlighted last week, in the latest issue of Nature Nanotechnology my colleague Dietram Scheufele is the lead author on a survey analysis that finds that experts are more concerned about the health and environmental risks of nanotech than the public at large.
In the editorial to the issue, Nature Nanotech editor Peter Rodgers emphasizes the importance of turning to communication researchers for help in engaging the public on the many technical, social, and political dimensions of nanotech.
He specifically cites our Policy Forum article at Science and discusses the need to actively frame messages on nanotech in ways that connect to diverse publics. In advocating this new paradigm in public outreach, he joins the editors at the Biosciences and The Scientist in noting how important research on framing can be to effective public communication. As Rogers writes:
...nanoscientists and technologists should look to social scientists for more than just data on
these questions -- help from 'outside' is also needed to communicate effectively with the public....
...These and other results emphasize the difficulty of making sure there is not a
public backlash against nanotechnology --there is no guarantee that the communication approaches that work for men in the US, for instance, will work for women in the US, let alone for anyone else in the world. One size certainly does not fit all.
Given the complexity of this challenge it can be helpful to think in terms of 'frames' or 'perceptual filters' when trying to communicate with the public[citation]. The basic idea of this approach is that most people are overloaded with information and not that interested in the details of nanotechnology or any other technology, so they use frames or filters -- such as their political or religious beliefs -- to process all this information and what it means for them...
Upvote/downvote each of the videos below!
As you vote, keep in mind that we are looking for a winner with the most engaging social venture pitch - an idea you would want to invest in.
- What distinguishes humans is social learning — and teaching.
- Crucial to learning and teaching is the value of free expression.
- And we need political leaders who support environments of social peace and cooperation.
From time-traveling billiard balls to information-destroying black holes, the world's got plenty of puzzles that are hard to wrap your head around.
- While it's one of the best on Earth, the human brain has a lot of trouble accounting for certain problems.
- We've evolved to think of reality in a very specific way, but there are plenty of paradoxes out there to suggest that reality doesn't work quite the way we think it does.
- Considering these paradoxes is a great way to come to grips with how incomplete our understanding of the universe really is.
Tragedy in art, from Ancient Greece to Breaking Bad, resists all our efforts to tie reality up in a neat bow, to draw some edifying lesson from it. Instead it confronts us with our own limitations, leaving us scrabbling in the rubble of certainty to figure out what's next.
- Why democracy has been unpopular with philosophers
- Tragedy's reminder that the past isn't finished with us
- …and why we need art in the first place
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.