Making Science Communication More Strategic

May 23, 2019

About the Webinar:

Drs. Dudo and Besley have focused their recent research on how to improve the quality of science communication practice. As part of this work, they have developed a framework for strategic science communication that emphasizes the initial importance of setting clear behavioral goals and then working backwards to identify communication objectives that have the potential of affecting desired behaviors, as well as tactics that have the potential of helping achieve communication objectives. This perspective puts identifying and prioritizing specific communication objectives at the core of being an effective communicator. It also suggests a need for researchers to put more focus on understanding how to ethically achieve communication objectives and how different objectives affect audience behavior. They will share their thinking and are eager for feedback on their menu of potential tactics, objectives, and goals.


Webinar participants will develop an improved understanding of how strategic communicators differentiate between communication tactics, objectives, and behavioral goals in order to develop evidence-based strategy. They will also learn a menu of communication objectives that sit at the heart of effective science communication.


May 23, 2019
3:00-4:15pm ET

This webinar is free and open to the public thanks to the generous support of the Kavli Foundation.

Webinar Speakers:

  • John Besley: John Besley (Ph.D., Cornell University) is a Professor of Public Relations at Michigan State University in the College of Communication Arts and Sciences. He studies public opinion about science and scientists’ opinions about the public in the context of trying to help science communicators become more strategic. He wants to understand how views about decision-makers and decision processes affect perceptions of science and technology (S&T) with potential health or environmental impacts. His research has touched on public perceptions of agricultural biotechnology (i.e., genetic engineering), energy technologies (i.e., nuclear energy), and nanotechnology. He has also conducted research into journalistic norms related to coverage of public engagement and research to better understand the impact of science communication training.

  • Anthony Dudo: Anthony Dudo (Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison) is the program director for science communication at the Center for Media Engagement and an associate professor in the Stan Richards School of Advertising and Public Relations at The University of Texas at Austin. He researches the intersection of science, media, and society and is particularly interested in scientists’ public engagement activities, media representations of science and environmental issues, and public perceptions of science. Dudo’s recent work has examined factors influencing scientists’ likelihood to engage in public communication, scientists’ goals for public engagement, and the growing community of science communication trainers.

The opinions expressed in this webinar are those of the speakers. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of the Alda Center.