Kathleen Hall Jamieson, director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center, will deliver the Henry and Bryna David Lecture at the National Academy of Sciences on April 28. Jamieson will discuss science communication, including examples of outstanding and problematic communication.
Abstract: “As a way of knowing, science carefully defines key terms, faithfully accounts for evidence, acknowledges the limitations in data and methods, and champions a climate characterized by critique and self-correction. Communication that fails to respect these norms increases science’s vulnerability to critics and calls into question the scientific enterprise’s ability to protect itself from the effects of human bias. After flagging instances of exemplary and problematic scientific communication, the lecture will outline ways that communicators can embody and express science’s values and value.”
The Annenberg Public Policy Center last fall expanded its areas of research into the science of science communication. Jamieson said at the time, “There’s a persistent gap between expert knowledge of scientific issues and public perception on myriad issues. Through empirical testing, we will examine ways to close this gap and separate the issues in communicating science from the evidence that is being presented.” She said APPC also will study such issues as the self-correcting nature of science, and whether corrections and retractions contribute to a perception that the science itself is flawed.
In addition, FactCheck.org, a project of the policy center, recently added the new project SciCheck with the support of the Stanton Foundation. SciCheck is dedicated to investigating the misuse of science in political speech.