Q&A on Framing, Public Engagement, and Social Media
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."
The American University news media relations office is running a Web feature that focuses on many of the themes discussed at this blog. The feature is in the form of a "Q&A." You can read the feature here. Below are the questions for which I responded with written answers.
Q: What is "framing" and why is it important?
Q: What, in your opinion, is the most pressing scientific issue in need of being reframed in the United States, and why does it need to be reframed (what about the communication of this issue has not worked to win over broader public support)?
Q: How would you reframe this issue to win broader public support?
Q: Severe cut backs in mainstream news media will likely lead to even less coverage of scientific issues. What opportunities -if any- do you see in social or participatory media for improving science communication?
Scientists have developed new ways of understanding how the biological forces of death drive important life processes.
- Researchers have found new ways on how decomposing plants and animals contribute to the life cycle.
- After a freak mass herd death of 300 reindeer, scientists were able to study a wide range of the decomposition processes.
- Promoting the necrobiome research will open up new areas of inquiry and even commerce.
What do we see from watching birds move across the country?
- A total of eight billion birds migrate across the U.S. in the fall.
- The birds who migrate to the tropics fair better than the birds who winter in the U.S.
- Conservationists can arguably use these numbers to encourage the development of better habitats in the U.S., especially if temperatures begin to vary in the south.
Explore how alcohol affects your brain, from the first sip at the bar to life-long drinking habits.
- Alcohol is the world's most popular drug and has been a part of human culture for at least 9,000 years.
- Alcohol's effects on the brain range from temporarily limiting mental activity to sustained brain damage, depending on levels consumed and frequency of use.
- Understanding how alcohol affects your brain can help you determine what drinking habits are best for you.
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