I am a professor in the Department of Life Sciences Communication, with affiliations in Global Studies and the Holtz Center for Science and Technology Studies. I am the leader of the Societal Implications of Nanotechnology group in the NSF-funded Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center (NSEC) and teach courses in strategic communication theory and research with a special emphasis on science and risk communication.
My research program focuses on the intersection between science, media and policy. I study the public opinion dynamics in the context of controversial scientific innovations, such as biotechnology, stem cell research, nanotechnology and nuclear energy (scimep lab work is presented here). I am particularly interested in understanding the role of values in shaping public attitudes, and in cross-cultural analysis of these processes, with a special emphasis on the online environment.
My professional background includes science bench work (I have a masters in Plant Biotechnology from the Ecole Nationale d’Agronomie de Toulouse) and 5 years with Accenture (formerly Andersen Consulting) in its Change Management Services Division. After my Ph.D., I became the Communication Coordinator for the Agricultural Biotechnology Support Project II (ABSPII), a position than combined public relations with marketing communication and strategic communication. The goal of ABSPII (a multimillion dollar project funded by USAID) is to support the development of expertise in the areas of research, policy development, licensing, and outreach related to agricultural biotechnology. This work brought me to Africa, India, Bangladesh, Indonesia and the Philippines.