This week at the Energy Symposium, Dr. John Besley, Ellis N. Brandt Professor of Public Relations at Michigan State University, will present a talk titled, "Making science communication more strategic."
Speaker bio: Dr. Besley, Ph.D. (Cornell, 2006) is the Ellis N. Brandt Professor of Public Relations in the College of Communication Arts and Sciences at Michigan State University. He is the author of more than 80 articles and chapters about science communication, including research focused on nuclear energy, hydrogen energy, genetic engineering, nanotechnology, and overall views about science. He has also been the author of a biennial report on public opinion about science and technology published by the National Science Board since 2014. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the associate editor for risk communication for the journal Risk Analysis, and on the editorial boards for the journals Public Understanding of Science, Science Communication, and the Journal of Risk Research. The National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and a range of foundations support his work.
Talk abstract: Dr. Besley will share details of his collaborative research to help the science community think about communicating more strategically. This work involves extensive surveying of scientists and interviewing of key actors within the science communication ecosystem. He will argue that science is too important around issues such as energy to continue the current approach of haphazard and uncoordinated communication. He will attempt to describe what a strategic approach to science communication might look like for individual scientists and the organizations to which they belong. His argument includes a call to those who communicate about science to be clear about their behavioral goals and then build communication strategy from these goals using the evidence-base that communication researchers and practitioners have developed over decades. The challenge of doing communication well, however, also speaks to the value of finding ways to ensure adequate resources so that scientists have the support of communication experts when planning, implementing, and evaluating their communication efforts.
The UT Energy Symposium meets every Thursday during the fall semester.