Masters student Molly Simis participates in the Iowa State University summer symposium on science communication

LSC masters student Molly Simis will be presenting a paper as part of a panel at the Third Iowa State Summer Symposium on Science Communication, May 30 to June 1, 2013, in Ames, Iowa.

Molly Simis
Molly Simis

She wrote the first draft of the paper she will present during her first semester in LSC Fall 2011, for Professor Dietram Scheufele’s LSC 902 course, “Public opinion in the life sciences.” The paper is a theoretical exploration of framing uncertainty in science communication and the associated ethical implications. Simis proposes a dynamic four-cell typology based on key characteristics of issues–the level of personal involvement and the time frame of outcomes–that categorizes how uncertainty may be dealt with in relation to media frames.

Simis will graduate in May 2013 with an M.S. from LSC. She is currently working on a thesis, in which she is assessing how scientists’ perceive how public attitudes toward controversial science issues are formed. She works as the external communication officer for the scimep lab (, and is a teaching assistant for Dietram Scheufele’s undergraduate course, “Science, Media and Society.” Simis attended this year’s AAAS in Boston, MA, representing LSC and the scimep lab.

“Professors in LSC gave great advice to my cohort during our first semester; they said, make every paper you write work for you–submit it to a conference, turn it into a project, do something with it,” said Simis. “This advice drove me to turn a paper I wrote for one of my first LSC classes into a conference submission, and it’s guidance like this that helps me to really value my time at LSC.”