The media, policymakers, and the public consume scientific information in a vastly different way than do the scientists who generate it. As a result, when science becomes the subject of attention across political contexts, scientists and their representatives too often find themselves at a loss over how to effectively engage a broad and diverse American citizenry.
In this free public session during the AIBS Annual Meeting and Awards on 14 May from 5 to 6 pm in the Congressional Room of the Capitol Hilton in Washington DC, communication professor Matthew Nisbet and journalist Chris Mooney demonstrate how the scientific community can learn to articulate positive and personally meaningful messages across politically contentious issues. They focus specifically on how the scientific community can recast old issues in new ways, taking advantage of a fragmented media environment to engage a wider American audience. A key point of emphasis will be that scientists must adopt a language that emphasizes shared values and has broad appeal, and that avoids the all-too-frequent pitfall of seeming to condescend to or belittle fellow citizens, or alienating them by attacking their religious beliefs.