New LSC Research: Are confidence effects about science widening?

When it comes to science, socioeconomic status may widen confidence gaps among the least and most educated groups in society, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Science, Media and the Public research group. The findings, published in June in the journal Science Communication, show that similar levels of attention to science in newspapers and on blogs can lead to vastly different levels of factual and perceived knowledge between the two groups. Notably, frequent science blog readership among low socioeconomic-status groups actually lowered their scores on factual tests of scientific knowledge while high levels of attention to science in newspapers caused them to feel they were less knowledgeable compared to those who read less or those from higher socioeconomic backgrounds. "The science section of The New York Times is not written for audiences with little or no prior knowledge of science and technology," explains study co-author Dominique Brossard, ...
July 16, 2014

LSC’s Online Curricula Combine Flexibility and Quality

As the world of education continues to become increasingly digital, LSC is investing in the development of three new online courses, with two offered this summer.  The three courses are all covering cutting edge content in science communication. LSC 251 (Science Media and Society) is taught by Professor Dietram Scheufele. The course looks at the increasingly complex relationship between science, media and society, as modern science across disciplines is faced with often controversial public debates surrounding its societal applications.  Genetically modified organisms, stem cell research, synthetic biology and nanotechnology are just a few topical issues discussed in the course. Scheufele was awarded a grant from UW’s Division of Continuing Studies to develop this course this summer. “This is a great opportunity for us to move one of our core offerings online and do three things at the same time,” says Scheufele, “expand the reach of our curriculum beyond traditional on-campus audiences; reduce ...
June 19, 2014

Alumna profile: Sara K. Yeo

Sara Yeo, a recent Ph.D. graduate from LSC, will be joining the Department of Communication at the University of Utah as Assistant Professor of Science and Environmental Communication in the fall. As she transitions into her new position, Sara reflects on how her time in LSC has prepared her for her new role. “The academic training I have received in this department has more than adequately prepared me for my new job. My position in the Department of Communication is affiliated with the Global Change and Sustainability Center, which brings scientists from the social and life sciences together in a collaborative environment. I already have such experiences through LSC as I have conducted interdisciplinary research with scientists from a broad range of disciplines, ranging from engineers to climate scientists,” says Yeo. Against this bridging of disciplines, she has received rigorous training in communication theory and methods. Participating in the Science, Media, and ...
June 20, 2014

Recent Publications

  • Howell, A., Shaw, B.R. & Alvarez, G. (2014) Bait Shop Owners as Opinion Leaders: A Test of the Theory of Planned Behavior to Predict Pro-Environmental Outreach Behaviors and Intentions. (more…)

  • Shaw, B.R., Howell, A. & Genskow, K. (2014). Evaluation of a movie theater advertisements campaign to promote behaviors that prevent spread of aquatic invasive species. Society and Natural Resources, 27, 768-776. (more…)

  • Yeo, S. K., Xenos, M. A., Brossard, D., & Scheufele, D. A. (2014). Disconnected discourses: How popular discourse about nanotechnology is missing the point. Materials Today, 17(2), 48-49. (more…)
  • Li, N., Anderson, A. A., Brossard, D., & Scheufele, D. A., (2014) Channeling science information seekers’ attention? A content analysis of top-ranked vs. lower-ranked sites in Google. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication. 19(3), 562-575.


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