A Typology of Frames

Specific to Science-Related Issues

By Matthew C. Nisbet & Dietram A. Scheufele

Social progress... improving quality of life, or solution to problems. Alternative interpretation as harmony with nature instead of mastery, "sustainability."

Economic development/competitiveness... economic investment, market benefits or risks; local, national, or global competitiveness.

Morality/ethics... right or wrong; respecting or crossing limits, thresholds, or boundaries.

Scientific/technical uncertainty... expert understanding; what is known and unknown; invoking or undermining consensus, "sound science," or peer-review.

Pandora's box / Frankenstein's monster / runaway science... call for precaution in face of possible impacts or catastrophe. Out-of-control, a Frankenstein's monster, or as fatalism, i.e. action is futile, path is chosen, no turning back.

Public accountability/governance... public versus private good; ownership and control, responsible...

Third way/alternative path... possible compromise position, middle way between conflicting views or options.

Conflict/strategy... as a game among elites; who's ahead or behind in winning debate; battle of personalities; or groups; (usually journalist-driven interpretation).

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