Promoting Dialogue About the Biggest Science and Society Questions

Matthew Nisbet: On some of the biggest questions facing society, members of the public sometimes discount the expert advice of scientists. This often occurs when scientific advances and innovations are perceived as conflicting with strongly held political, religious, or social beliefs. Scientists therefore often experience a great deal of uncertainty about how to deploy their communication capital wisely and effectively. Recognizing these challenges, a new American Association for the Advancement of Science report, “Scientists in Civic Life: Facilitating Dialogue-Based Communication,” provides an overview of relevant research, practices, and examples that scientists can draw on in encouraging more thoughtful dialogue about science and society. In authoring the booklet, I spent the past 18 months collaborating with staff at the AAAS Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Society (DoSER).

Home About Contact