Communicating Science in Politicized Environments
James N. Druckman, Samara Klar, Yanna Krupnikov, and Arthur Lupia
2:00 pm – 6:00 pm
In this short course, we introduce participants to advances in the science of science communication. Science provides two main products to society: information and meaning. Science provides information to society through the evidence it collects. Science provides meaning to society through its rigorous analyses and interpretations of the data that it collects. Science’s products have the potential to clarify many important questions about causality and possibility in the natural and social world. Science’s ability to have these effects, however, depends on how effectively scientists can convey what they know to others. We show how science communicators can use insights from literatures on attention, framing, credibility, and memory to more effectively convey important information when competition for attention or political polarization is present. The main lesson of the course is that it is possible to stay true to the content of scientific research while describing it in ways that make it more accessible and more memorable to more people. While understanding this type of lesson does not guarantee success, it can help science communicators avoid common mistakes. Avoiding these mistakes, in turn, can increase the range of circumstances in which science can help others make better decisions and improve quality of life. Participants can use this information for a number of purposes. The content will give them access to a dynamic, interdisciplinary and quickly growing field of study. In addition, participants can use the content to improve the extent to which their own presentations are accessible to others and the extent to which their presentations produce desired learning outcomes or actions.
2:00-2:15 Opening and Introduction
2:15-3:00. Necessary Conditions for Learning in Politicized Environments
3:00-3:15. Discussion of Communicating Science in Politicized Environments
3:15-4:00. Communicating Science in the Presence of Political Polarization, the Politicized Status Quo Bias, and Uncertain Consensus
4:00-4:15. Discussion of Communicating Science in the Presence of Political Polarization, the Politicized Status Quo Bias, and Uncertain Consensus
4:30-5:15. Overcoming the Gate-Keeping Constraints of Communicating Science
5:15-5:30. Discussion of Overcoming the Gate-Keeping Constraints of Communicating Science
5:30-5:55. Discussion with the entire panel.
5:55-6:00. Closing Statements. Each presenter will offer a closing statement of one minute
**All Short Courses will take place on Wednesday, August 31 at the APSA 2016 Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, PA.