Annenberg Public Policy Center director Kathleen Hall Jamieson moderated a panel at the Arthur M. Sackler Colloquium on the Science of Science Communication III: Inspiring Novel Collaborations and Building Capacity. The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) colloquium took place November 16-17, 2017.
The panel moderated by Jamieson, “Focus on a Communication Challenge: Threats to Science’s Reputation,” featured Susan Fiske of Princeton University, Kevin Finneran, editor-in-chief of Issues in Science and Technology, and NAS president Marcia McNutt. Each panelist presented on different areas of the issue, from the importance of reputation and trust to an assessment of the extent of the problem and finding solutions.
To start the session, Jamieson delivered a brief presentation (watch it below), on narratives of science in the news media. She noted that the dominant narrative is one of the scientific discovery and quest, but said that the coverage of retractions or failures to replicate results tends to produce a “science is broken” narrative. The process through which scientists identify problems and work to correct them is part of the self-correcting nature of science, but headlines and news coverage often fail to convey that fact, Jamieson said.