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The Science of
Science Communication II

This colloquium was held in Washington, D.C. September 23-25.

Organizers: Ralph Cicerone, National Academy of Sciences; Baruch Fischhoff, Carnegie Mellon University, Alan Leshner, AAAS, Barbara Schaal, Washington University in St. Louis, and Dietram Scheufele, University of Wisconsin, Madison

Overview: Climate change. . . evolution . . . the obesity crisis .. .nanotechnology: These are but a few of the scientific topics dominating the world stage today. Yet discourse surrounding these and other science-based issues is often overwhelmed by controversy and conflicting perceptions, hampering understanding and action.

The continuing challenges facing scientists, professional communicators, and the interested public as they seek to exchange information about science has resulted in a growing area of research—the science of science communication.  Investigators are delving into such issues as the role of social networks in how information is disseminated and received; the formation of beliefs and attitudes leading to decisions and behaviors; and strategies for communicating science in a highly-charged, politicized environment.

The National Academy of Sciences is hosting its second Sackler colloquium on this topic to advance a national dialogue about science communication.

Highlights include:

  • Presentations by leading scientists summarizing their fields’ contributions to effective science communication.
  • An expanded three-day program that includes scholarly exchanges; panels of communication researchers and practitioners moderated by science writer, producer, and television personality Cara Santa Maria; and workshops focused on some of the biggest science communication challenges facing professionals and the public today.
  • A keynote lecture by University of Pennsylvania professor Kathleen Hall Jamieson: Responding to the Attack on the Best Available Evidence.

The colloquium offers scientists, communication practitioners, and opinion leaders the opportunity to discuss issues of mutual concern, share successes and ongoing questions, and fine-tune their understanding of how lessons from research can drive effective communication of scientific topics.

The National Academy of Sciences is grateful for the support of the following co-sponsors of this event:




PNAS publications from the 2012 Science of Science Communications colloquium

Videos from the 2012 Science of Science Communications colloquium

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