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date: 11 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter synthesizes the central findings generated by the field of science communication, including those that establish that higher levels of public knowledge will not necessarily increase public support for and interest in science. It describes how beliefs about science are entangled in our social and political environment, shaped by mass media portrayals, and confounded by interpersonal and cultural influences. The chapter closes with a discussion of the current landscape of science communication in the context of contemporary science issues. It also suggests that future research develop and test message structures able to neutralize biased processing and also uncover ways to motivate audiences to make accurate rather than distorted judgments about scientific issues.

Keywords: mass media, public engagement, knowledge deficit model misconception, politicized science, audiences, motivated reasoning, science communication

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