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Audiences for Science

Science journalists have been accused of putting both science and “objectivity” on a pedestal. Typically, they write for people who are already interested in science, persuaded of its value, and committed to its support. This describes a type of journalist who may fail to appropriately address concerns and controversies and who can sometimes be tempted to function, rather than as society's watchdog, as a sort of public relations agent for promoting science via one-sided messages.

It is thus especially ironic that persuasion research has shown us the most persuasive messages are generally two-sided, acknowledging criticisms as well as supporting arguments.

Support for science is likely to be strongest where people believe that their ethical, environmental, health, safety, economic, and other societal and values-based concerns are being addressed ...

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