Communicating scientific uncertainty to public audiences
Uncertainty drives science–all scientific results have uncertainties, which is the reason that more research is always needed. But scientific uncertainties create challenges for public communication. Can the public understand scientific uncertainties? Are researchers obligated to communicate uncertainties and limitations to public audiences? Will doing so reduce public trust in the results? What are good methods for communicating uncertainties? This presentation will share what communication researchers have learned on these issues, and solicit the audience’s perspectives on which seem most pressing for NC State public scientists.
Jean Goodwin is a professor in the Department of Communication and a member of the Leadership in Public Science cluster. Her research in science communication focuses on the challenges scientists face in civic controversies.