2013 Summer Symposium

Ethical Issues in Science Communication: A Theory-Based Approach

May 30 – June 1, 2013 | Ames, IA

Buy the Proceedings at Amazon

As science continues to become implicated in personal and collective decision-making, the stakes for communicating science to non-expert audiences intensify. In such an environment, a clear articulation of ethical issues arising from science communication is essential. Unfortunately, such an articulation does not yet exist. The purpose of this symposium is to bring together scholars from across disciplines whose research can contribute toward a theoretical articulation of the ethical issues surrounding the communication of science to non-expert audiences. For this symposium, we invite work from relevant disciplines including communication, rhetoric, philosophy, science and technology studies, and the sciences themselves, on topics such as:

  • The underlying goals of science communication
  • Specific ethical issues within science communication, such as hype, spin, appropriate advocacy
  • Ethical standards for the use of non-rational appeals such as narrative, framing, and metaphor
  • Normative roles of scientists, citizens, science journalists, science bloggers and other stakeholders within the science communication process
  • Ethical challenges in communicating subjects such as risk and uncertainty
  • Normative issues in the design of public participation processes
  • Empirical work on the perceptions of ethical issues from the perspectives of various stakeholders
  • Approaches to teaching science communication ethics