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The Science of Science Communication: Provocative Questions for a New Research Agenda

Fri, 15 Jun, 2012 16:00 - 17:00

Venue: Arts Centre Lecture Theatre A30, University Park

Lecture followed by wine reception

Rick Borchelt is Special Assistant for Public Affairs to the Director of the National Cancer Institute at the US National Institutes of Health.  He is the former Science Communications Director for the US Department of Agriculture, and was Director of Communications for the Pew-funded Genetics and Public Policy Center at Johns Hopkins University. His career in science communications and science public policy has included stints as Media Relations Director for the National Academy of Sciences; Press Secretary for the U.S. House of Representatives Science Committee; and Special Assistant for Public Affairs in S&T in the Executive Office of The President during the Clinton Administration.

Who sets the agenda for research on public communication of science, medicine, and technology, and whose interests does that agenda serve?  Reviewing an analysis of public communication of science and technology (PCST) literature published in English during the decade 2000-2009, it becomes increasingly clear that much of the research funding in this field support utilitarian efforts at building public support for controversial science or emerging technologies about which there is or is likely to be public scepticism.  

This narrow focus of research has meant that the fundamental questions that underpin public understanding of science are seldom addressed. A new agenda is required, one not tied to vested interests, but rather derived from provocative questions that could truly invigorate the field and challenge a broad spectrum of researchers to offer better approaches to public engagement in science and science policy.

Booking: Register by the 13th June
Registrations taken online or contact Neil Davenport 0115 8232407.
Category: Alumni Events
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