Video, Slides & Readings for Sackler Lecture on Media & Science Policy Debates

On Tuesday, May 22, I delivered a lecture as part of the National Academies' Sackler Colloquium on the "Science of Science Communication," reviewing the role of the media in science policy debates.   The video of the lecture along with those of my fellow panelists Dominique Brossard and William Eveland is now available online.  


The lectures begin following brief introductions by Ralph Cicerone, president of the National Academies, and Dietram Scheufele, co-organizer of the event.

I have also posted online the slides for download.  Below is a reading list specific to key subjects covered in my talk.  

I am back from travel on June 6 and will have much more to say about the many outstanding presentations from leading researchers in the fields of decision science and communication.

Overviews on Communication and Science Policy Debates

  • Nisbet, M.C. & Scheufele, D.A. (2009). What’s Next for Science Communication? Promising Directions and Lingering Distractions. American Journal of Botany, 96 (10), 1767-1778. (PDF).
  • Nisbet, M.C. (2010). Civic Education About Climate Change: Opinion-Leaders, Communication Infrastructure, and Participatory Culture. Commissioned White Paper in support of the National Academies Roundtable on Climate Change Education. Washington. [PDF]
  • Brossard, D., & Lewenstein, B. V. (2009). A Critical Appraisal of Models of Public Understanding of Science: Using Practice to Inform Theory. In L. Kahlor & P. Stout (Eds.), Communicating Science: New Agendas in Communication (pp. 11-39). New York: Routledge. [Google Books Excerpt]
  • Agenda-Setting and Framing Effects on News Audiences

  • Nisbet, M.C. & Feldman, L. (2011). The Social Psychology of Political Communication. In D. Hook, B. Franks and M. Bauer (Eds.), The Social Psychology of Communication. London: Palgrave Macmillan. [PDF]
  • Scheufele, D. A. (2000). Agenda-setting, priming, and framing revisited: Another look at cognitive effects of political communication. Mass Communication & Society, 3 (2), 297-316. [Abstract].
  • Scheufele, D. A. (1999). Framing as a theory of media effects. Journal of Communication, 49(1), 103-122. [PDF]
  • Scheufele, D.A. & Iyengar, S. (forthcoming). The State of Framing Research: A Call for New Directions. InThe Oxford Handbook of Political Communication. New York: Oxford University Press. [PDF]
  • Agenda-Building, Frame-Building, and Journalistic Decisions

  • Nisbet, M.C. (2008). Agenda-Building. In W. Donsbach (Ed.), International Encyclopedia of Communication. New York: Blackwell Publishing. [PDF]
  • McComas, K., & Shanahan, J. (1999). Telling stories about global climate change. Communication Research, 26(1),30.
  • Nisbet, M. C., Brossard, D., & Kroepsch, A. (2003). Framing Science: The Stem Cell Controversy in an Age of Press/Politics.  Harvard International Journal of Press/Politics,8(2), 36-70. [PDF]
  • Nisbet, M., & Huge, M. (2007). Where do science debates come from? Understanding attention cycles and framing. The media, the public, and agricultural biotechnology, 193–230. [PDF].
  • Lewenstein, Bruce V. 1995. Science and the Media. In Handbook of Science and Technology Studies, edited by S. Jasanoff, G. E. Markle, J. G. Petersen and T. Pinch. Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage. [Google Books excerpt]
  • Fahy, J. & Nisbet, M.C. (2011). The Science Journalist Online: Shifting Roles and Emerging Practices. Journalism: Theory, Practice & Criticism. [HTML].
  • Perceptions and Analysis of False Balance in Science Coverage

  • Eveland, W. P., Jr., & Shah, D. V. (2003). The impact of individual and interpersonal factors on perceived news media bias. Political Psychology, 24, 101-117. [PDF]
  • Besley, J. & Nisbet, M.C. (2011). How Scientists View the Media, the Public and the Political Process.  Public Understanding of Science. [PDF].
  • Boykoff, M. & Boykoff, J. (2004). Balance as Bias: Global Warming and the U.S. Prestige Press. Global Environmental Change Vol. 15: No. 2 : 125-136.[PDF]
  • Boykoff, M. (2007). Flogging a Dead Norm? Media Coverage of Anthropogenic Climate Change in United States and United Kingdom, 2003–2006. Area 39(4) [PDF].
  • Nisbet, M.C. (2011). Death of a Norm? Evaluating False Balance in Media Coverage. Chapter 3 in Climate Shift: Clear Vision for the Next Decade of Public Debate. Washington, DC: American University (HTML).
  • Feldman, L. et al. (2011). Climate on Cable: The Nature and Impact of Global Warming Coverage on Fox News, CNN, and MSNBC. International Journal of Press/Politics. [HTML].
  • Elite Cues, Polarization, and Public Perceptions

  • Abramowitz, A. (2012). The Polarized Public? Why American Government Is So Dysfunctional.  New York: Pearson. [Description]
  • Nisbet, M.C. (2005). The Competition for Worldviews: Values, Information, and Public Support for Stem Cell Research. International Journal of Public Opinion Research, 17, 1, 90-112. [PDF]
  • Ho, S. S., Brossard, D., & Scheufele, D. A. (2008). Effects of Value Predispositions, Mass Media Use, and Knowledge on Public Attitudes Toward Embryonic Stem Cell Research. International Journal of Public Opinion Research. [Abstract]
  • Nisbet, M.C. (2011).  Public Opinion and Political Participation.  In D. Schlosberg, J. Dryzek, & R. Norgaard (Eds.), Oxford Handbook of Climate Change and Society.  London, UK: Oxford University Press. [HTML].
  • Pew Center for People and the Press (2011, November). Partisan Divided Over Clean Energy Grows. [HTML]
  • Scheufele, D.A & Nisbet, M.C. (in press). Online News and the Demise of Political Disagreement. Communication Yearbook. [HTML]
  • Framing, Audience Segmentation, and Public Engagement on Climate Change

  • Nisbet, M.C. (2009). Communicating Climate Change: Why Frames Matter to Public Engagement. Environment, 51 (2), 514-518. (HTML).
  • Maibach, E. W., Leiserowitz, A., Roser-Renouf, C., & Mertz, C. (2011). Identifying like-minded audiences for global warming public engagement campaigns: An audience segmentation analysis and tool development. PloS One, 6(3), e17571. [HTML]
  • Maibach, E., Nisbet, M.C. et al. (2010). Reframing Climate Change as a Public Health Issue: An Exploratory Study of Public Reactions. BMC Public Health 10: 299 (HTML).
  • Reading Lists and Student Blog Posts from Relevant Courses at American University

    Science Communication in Political Controversies

    Science and Environmental Communication

    Seminar on Advanced Media Theory

    3D printing might save your life one day. It's transforming medicine and health care.

    What can 3D printing do for medicine? The "sky is the limit," says Northwell Health researcher Dr. Todd Goldstein.

    Northwell Health
    Sponsored by Northwell Health
    • Medical professionals are currently using 3D printers to create prosthetics and patient-specific organ models that doctors can use to prepare for surgery.
    • Eventually, scientists hope to print patient-specific organs that can be transplanted safely into the human body.
    • Northwell Health, New York State's largest health care provider, is pioneering 3D printing in medicine in three key ways.
    Keep reading Show less
    Big Think Edge
    • In some fundamental ways, humans haven't changed all that much since the days when we were sitting around communal fires, telling tales.
    • Although we don't always recognize them as such, stories, symbols, and rituals still have tremendous, primal power to move us and shape our lives.
    • This is no less true in the workplace than it is in our personal lives.

    Has a black hole made of sound confirmed Hawking radiation?

    One of Stephen Hawking's predictions seems to have been borne out in a man-made "black hole".

    Image source: NASA/JPL-Caltech
    Surprising Science
    • Stephen Hawking predicted virtual particles splitting in two from the gravitational pull of black holes.
    • Black holes, he also said, would eventually evaporate due to the absorption of negatively charged virtual particles.
    • A scientist has built a black hole analogue based on sound instead of light.
    Keep reading Show less
    Big Think Edge
    • The word "creative" is sometimes waved around like a badge of honor. We speak of creativity in hushed tones, as the special province of the "talented". In reality, the creative process is messy, open, and vulnerable.
    • For this reason, creativity is often at its best in a group setting like brainstorming. But in order to work, the group creative process needs to be led by someone who understands it.
    • This sense of deep trust—that no idea is too silly, that every creative impulse is worth voicing and considering—is essential to producing great work.