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date: 02 December 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Dramatic increases in media choice over the past few decades have had profound effects on virtually all processes of communication involving issues of public concern. For science issues in particular, exposure to information about a particular topic is typically driven by specific motivations, often in the highly fragmented world of online communication. Existing research on information seeking in a polarized media environment can guide thinking about how individuals make sense of contemporary science issues. However, the unique features of science topics, particularly those related to emerging science and technology fields, complicate simple applications of existing theories. Although a small number of existing studies attend to these issues, developing solid, evidence-based prescriptions for improving how individuals seek information and form opinions will require significant new research.

Keywords: media choice, fragmentation, polarized media environment, information seeking, science issues, online communication

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