Research on Science, Technology and Culture. Shifting Opinions, Shifting Policy, Shifting Society.
Courses

COM 589: Second Analysis Paper on Cultural Disagreement Over Climate Change, Technology and New Directions for Environmentalism

The following is the second short paper topic for the course COM 589: Communication, Culture and the Environment. Choose 1 of the following 2 questions to answer based on readings and class discussion for Feb. 10 & 17 / March 24 & 31. The paper is due in class on Mon. April 7. 1) Over...

COM 589: First Analysis Paper on Scientists As Advocates / Models of Science Communication

The following is the first short paper topic for the course COM 589: Communication, Culture and the Environment.  Choose 1 of the following 2 questions to answer. The paper is due in class on Mon. February 17. 1) As environmental groups and activists work to promote action on climate change and other environmental problems, scientists...

Final Presentations in COM 533 and COM 589

On April 24, the last day of class, each of you will be responsible for presenting for approximately 7 minutes on your final paper topic.  Your presentation should cover the following: How you came to define your topic and the search strategies you used to find relevant research. The different perspectives and findings reflected in...

COM 533 Ethical Persuasion: Discussion Paper on Stealth Marketing, Micro-Targeting, and Big Data

The following is the third short paper topic for the course COM 533: Ethical Persuasion. Drawing on principles and readings from across the course, analyze the ethical, social and legal implications of advances in stealth marketing, opinion-leader strategies, micro-targeting, and Big  Data tactics.  Discuss the factors and trends that have led advertisers and organizations to...

COM 589: Discussion Paper on the Food Biotech Debate

The following is the third short paper topic for the course COM 589: Sustainability Communication. Drawing on principles and readings from across the course, analyze the communication, public opinion and policy dynamics of the debate over food biotechnology.  What factors account for disagreement and diverging views on the safety and environmental risks of food biotechnology?...

COM 533 Ethical Persuasion: The Ethics of Marketing and Promotion in the Health, Drug and Personalized Medicine Industries

The following is the second short paper topic for the course COM 533 Ethical Persuasion. In your paper, based on the readings and class discussion, briefly review the factors and strategies that often lead to skewed news coverage and personal decision-making about fitness, diet, pharmaceutical drugs, and personalized medicine respectively. Discuss what might be unethical...

COM 589 Sustainability Communication: Discussion Paper on Scientists and Advocacy

The following is the second short paper topic for the course COM 589: Sustainability Communication. As environmental groups and other political groups work to promote social action related to climate change, scientists are increasingly asked to play more prominent roles in public life, as communicators, policy advisors and/or as advocates. Drawing on readings and discussion...

COM 533: Discussion Paper on Evaluating the Ethics of Persuasion

The following is the first short paper topic for the course COM 533 Ethical Persuasion. In class we discussed the debate over the conditions under which strategic communication, persuasion and public education campaigns can be ethical.  Carefully explain the major criteria for evaluating the ethics of campaign and engagement efforts, drawing on examples from elections, politics,...

COM 589 Sustainability Communication: Discussion Paper on Climate Change as a Wicked Problem

The following is the first short paper topic for the course COM 589: Sustainability Communication. Scholars have described climate change as a wicked problem with implications for “clumsy” policy approaches and public engagement.  Drawing on readings and discussion in class, assess the arguments for the wicked nature of climate change, the critique of policy approaches...

Reading List for Course on Science and Environmental Communication

UPDATE: SEE THE LATEST VERSION OF THIS COURSE AND READING LIST FROM SPRING 2014 This semester, students from a diversity of majors at American University are participating in an advanced seminar I am teaching on science and environmental communication. For the first part of the semester, we are covering core issues and themes.  In the process,...