Risk and Environmental Communication

Communication profoundly influences the way we perceive health and environmental risks and how we relate to the built and natural environment. These perceptions shape, among many other things, whether we adopt or reject of risk messages, support or disregard environmental policies, and trust or express skepticism about risk and environmental managers. The topics we study include the communication of scientific uncertainty, public engagement in risk and environmental decision-making, media coverage of risk and the environment, and narratives about the environment. Our methods range from content analysis to community surveys, from in-depth interviews to participation observation, from lab experiments to quasi-experimental studies in the field. Recent projects include research on community attitudes toward Cornell University's efforts toward greater sustainability, work on the history of science communication, and research into risk information seeking during an emerging hazard.