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Exploring the interactions that swirl around scientific uncertainty and its coverage by the mass media, this volume breaks new ground by looking at these issues from three different perspectives: that of communication scholars who have studied uncertainty in a number of ways; that of science journalists who have covered these issues; and that of scientists who have been actively involved in researching uncertain science and talking to reporters about it. In particular, Communicating Uncertainty examines how well the mass media convey to the public the complexities, ambiguities, and controversies that are part of scientific uncertainty.
In addition to its new approach to scientific uncertainty and mass media interactions, this book distinguishes itself in the quality of work it assembles by some of the best known science communication scholars in the world. This volume continues the exploration of interactions between scientists and journalists that the three coeditors first documented in their highly successful volume, Scientists and Journalists: Reporting Science as News, which was used for many years as a text in science journalism courses around the world.
Contents: Preface. Introduction. Part I: Interpreting Uncertainty. S.C. Zehr, Scientists' Representations of Uncertainty. S.H. Stocking, How Journalists Deal With Scientific Uncertainty. E. Einsiedel, B. Thorne, Public Responses to Uncertainty. S. Dunwoody, Scientists, Journalists, and the Meaning of Uncertainty. P.M. Boffey, J.E. Rodgers, S.H. Schneider, Interpreting Uncertainty: A Panel Discussion. Part II: Science in the Public Arena. S.H. Priest, Popular Beliefs, Media, and Biotechnology. S.M. Friedman, The Never-Ending Story of Dioxin. D.E. Chubin, An Uncertain Social Contract: The Case of Human Resources for Science. D. Blum, Reporting on the Changing Science of Human Behavior. D. Dumanoski, W.H. Farland, S. Krimsky, Science in the Public Arena: A Panel Discussion. Part III: Beyond the Basics. C.L. Rogers, The Importance of Understanding Audiences. K.E. Rowan, Effective Explanation of Uncertain and Complex Science. R.J. Griffin, Using Systematic Thinking to Choose and Evaluate Evidence. R.R. Colwell, P. Girshman, C.B. Marrett, P. Raeburn, F.S. Rowland, T. Siegfried, Beyond the Basics: A Roundtable Discussion.