Science and Law
7th October 2013

Spotlight on the Science of Scientific Communications Conference

Defense attorneys facing unfounded attacks against a product or chemical should respond by “establishing consensus,” “establishing the expert’s credibility based on past successes,” and “countering the partisan filter,” said Kathleen Hall Jamieson in her keynote address at The Science of Science Communications seminar last month in Washington, DC. David H. Schwartz, Ph.D., Head of Scientific Support to Counsel at ISS, attended the event, which was sponsored by the National Academy of Sciences.

Spotlight on the Science of Scientific Communications Conference

Defense attorneys facing unfounded attacks against a product or chemical should respond by “establishing consensus,” “establishing the expert’s credibility based on past successes,” and “countering the partisan filter,” said Kathleen Hall Jamieson in her keynote address at The Science of Science Communications seminar last month in Washington, DC. David H. Schwartz, Ph.D., Head of Scientific Support to Counsel at ISS, attended the event, which was sponsored by the National Academy of Sciences.

Dr. Jamieson, who runs the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania, went on to explain that countering the partisan filter involves “inoculating against opposing claims” by preemptively refuting the anticipated assertion with scientific evidence. Jamieson stressed the importance of describing methodology used to ascertain the evidence. In addition, she recommended employing an evocative narrative and using clarifying metaphors. Dr. Jamieson helped create FactCheck.org and FlackCheck.org.

The other speakers on the agenda addressed a range of topics, including what drives beliefs and attitudes about science, the role of social networks in science communication, individual and social perceptions of science, and lessons from business. The goal of the meeting was to bring practitioners and academics together to discuss effective approaches to communicating scientific concepts.

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