Boosting public trust in scientists hangs on communications methods

September 28, 2020

While debate over COVID-19 guidelines and vaccine development has raised skeptics' eyebrows and undermined confidence, a West Virginia University associate professor says that communication is essential for the science community to gain the American public's trust. According to
Quotes

"In practice, communication objectives should be considered when assessing trust. In other words, 'What are you trying to accomplish with the communication to your audience?' Those objectives should influence the ways in which you assess perceptions. For instance, we see many science communicators simply assessing the outcome of knowledge gain; however, there is substantial evidence that knowledge doesn't change behaviors."

"We set out to increase conceptual clarity of trust and found that a four-factor measurement scale provides value when measuring perceptions of scientists, depending on the communication objectives and research goals. In this solution, items measure competence (ability/expertise), integrity (honesty), benevolence (warmth) and openness (willingness to listen)."

"It is reasonable to assume the public is skeptical of science-related issues. In the past, there has been a tendency towards dumping volumes of information and expecting our audience to naturally understand and accept the claims. Instead, we need to refocus on the communication objectives that make the most sense for science-based communication. Recognizing when and why people trust scientists will help us communicate more effectively by putting the emphasis where needed." - Geah Pressgrove, associate professor, advertising and public relations program chair, WVU Reed College of Media
-end-
Additional Resources:

'
Science Communication

West Virginia University

Related Vaccine Development Articles from Brightsurf:

New tool outsmarts COVID-19 virus to help vaccine development
Melbourne researchers have developed a tool to monitor mutations that make it difficult to develop coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccines and drugs.

Locking down shape-shifting spike protein aids development of COVID-19 vaccine
Publishing in the journal Nature, researchers from the Univ. of Texas at Austin, Moderna and the NIH explain how they developed the COVID-19 vaccine candidate mRNA-1273 and report strong positive results on its effectiveness in mice.

UCalgary researchers unlock new insights that could help with vaccine development
Researchers at the University of Calgary have unlocked new insights that may help with vaccine development for infectious diseases such as COVID-19, malaria, and tuberculosis.

A nanomaterial path forward for COVID-19 vaccine development
From mRNA vaccines entering clinical trials, to peptide-based vaccines and using molecular farming to scale vaccine production, the COVID-19 pandemic is pushing new and emerging nanotechnologies into the frontlines and the headlines.

Controlled human infection models and SARS-CoV-2 vaccine development
Infecting volunteers with COVID-19 may provide valuable insights for future rounds of vaccine testing, but would require very strict controls and is unlikely to advance the current slate of vaccines in advanced development, argues a group of infectious disease experts.

COVID-19 vaccine development: New guidelines for ethical approach to infecting trial volunteers
Allowing consenting volunteers to be deliberately infected with COVID-19 for the purposes of developing a vaccine could be done ethically and potentially speed up its development, a University of Warwick researcher has argued in new research.

New imaging analysis pipeline could aid in drug and vaccine development
A new paper introduces a method to effectively analyze data from lattice light-sheet microscopy, used to closely examine individual cells, such as T-cells, in 4D.

Perspective: Rapid COVID-19 vaccine development
When seeking the fastest pathway to a vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19), defining the stakes and potential hurdles is critical, says Barney Graham in this Perspective.

HKUST scientists shed light on COVID-19 vaccine development
A team HKUST scientists has recently identified a set of potential vaccine targets for SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, to guide experimental efforts towards vaccine development against novel pneumonia (COVID-19).

Novel model for studying intestinal parasite could advance vaccine development
The intestinal parasite Cryptosporidium causes frequent outbreaks in the US, and has been historically difficult to study.

Read More: Vaccine Development News and Vaccine Development Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.