Sciencing the Story: Methodological Approaches to Studying the Use of Narrative in Science Communication

October 17, 2018 2:00PM - 4:00PM

Natural Resource Building, Room 338

Abstract

Both science communicators and scientific organizations have been advocating for the use of narrative in science communication. While narrative approaches to science communication appear promising, there is limited empirical research into the impacts of narrative modes of communication about scientific issues. What narrative is, how to measure it, and how to measure its impacts are all relatively new concepts in the field of science communication. In this research I work to synthesize the disparate literature on narrative and narrative impacts, and propose new methodological approaches to studying narrative in the context of science communication. These methods are rooted in the assumption that we should take an empirical approach to understanding the role of narrative. For my dissertation I will 1) synthesize the literature to create a much-needed foundation on narrative in science communication, 2) develop an experiment to test how specific elements of narrative impact recall and comprehension, and 3) develop a coding rubric to measure narrative and apply it to science editorials in liberal and conservative news media. Together, this research will contribute theoretical and empirical foundations to a young and growing field of research.

 

Dissertation Committee

Dr. Steven Gray (chair)
Dr. Josh Introne
Dr. Lissy Goralnik
Dr. Rebecca Jordan

 

 

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