Readers weigh in on framing

Readers weigh in on framing The results from our online poll are in. Here's the most up-to-date information on what you think about framing in science 1. First, a bit about you. How would you describe yourself? Response Percent Response Count  A practicing scientist in the lab  41.0%   166   A former scientist in the lab or science graduate  34.1%   138   A non-scientist

Matthew Nisbet & Dietram A. Scheufele
Oct 1, 2007

Readers weigh in on framing

The results from our online poll are in. Here's the most up-to-date information on what you think about framing in science

1. First, a bit about you. How would you describe yourself?

Response
Percent
Response
Count
 A practicing scientist in the lab  41.0%   166 
 A former scientist in the lab or science graduate  34.1%   138 
 A non-scientist  24.9%   101 

Responses from practicing scientists in the lab:

Science in the media
The media does a good job of informing the public about important or sensitive science issues.
Strongly Agree Agree Disagree Strongly Disagree No Opinion Rating Average Response
Count
0.0% (0) 23.8% (31) 46.9% (61) 28.5% (37) 0.8% (1) 3.05  130 
The best media for reaching the public are science sections in mainstream media outlets such as the New York Times science section, BBC news, or NPR's Science Friday.
Strongly Agree Agree Disagree...
Public understanding of science
If the public had a better understanding of embryonic stem cells, current restrictions on research would be lifted.
Strongly Agree Agree Disagree Strongly Disagree No Opinion Rating Average Response
Count
14.6% (19) 43.1% (56) 33.1% (43) 5.4% (7) 3.8% (5) 2.30  130 
If scientists were more effective at communicating the science behind climate change, governments would be more likely to support measures to combat it.
Strongly Agree Agree Disagree Strongly Disagree No Opinion Rating Average Response
Count
15.4% (20) 42.3% (55) 33.8% (44) 6.9% (9) 1.5% (2) 2.33  130 
If scientists were more effective at communicating the evidence for evolution, fewer people would believe that creationism should be taught in science classes.
Strongly Agree Agree Disagree Strongly Disagree No Opinion Rating Average Response
Count
17.7% (23) 36.2% (47) 34.6% (45) 10.0% (13) 1.5% (2) 2.38  130 
If the public had a better understanding of science, governments would increase their funding for science.
Strongly Agree Agree Disagree Strongly Disagree No Opinion Rating Average Response
Count
34.6% (45) 40.8% (53) 15.4% (20) 3.1% (4) 6.2% (8) 1.86  130 
Science would be better off today if we had more scientists like Carl Sagan.
Strongly Agree Agree Disagree Strongly Disagree No Opinion Rating Average Response
Count
20.8% (27) 36.2% (47) 11.5% (15) 4.6% (6) 26.9% (35) 2.00  130 
The role of scientists in the media
Scientists do a good job of communicating complex technical issues to the public.
Strongly Agree Agree Disagree Strongly Disagree No Opinion Rating Average Response
Count
0.0% (0) 14.6% (19) 60.8% (79) 23.8% (31) 0.8% (1) 3.09  130 
In public, scientists should only comment on the technical details of their work and not discuss the ethical or policy implications of research.
Strongly Agree Agree Disagree Strongly Disagree No Opinion Rating Average Response
Count
3.8% (5) 6.2% (8) 55.4% (72) 33.1% (43) 1.5% (2) 3.20  130 
Research needs to be explained to lay audiences in all its complexities, no matter the type of media outlet or the nature of the audience.
Strongly Agree Agree Disagree Strongly Disagree No Opinion Rating Average Response
Count
13.8% (18) 29.2% (38) 40.8% (53) 14.6% (19) 1.5% (2) 2.57  130 
When scientists communicate with the public, the most important thing is technical accuracy.
Strongly Agree Agree Disagree Strongly Disagree No Opinion Rating Average Response
Count
10.8% (14) 31.5% (41) 41.5% (54) 13.8% (18) 2.3% (3) 2.60  130 
When scientists communicate with the public, the most important thing is accommodating their message to suit the audience.
Strongly Agree Agree Disagree Strongly Disagree No Opinion Rating Average Response
Count
20.8% (27) 42.3% (55) 26.9% (35) 8.5% (11) 1.5% (2) 2.23  130 
Communications training and research
Strongly Agree Agree Disagree Strongly Disagree No Opinion Rating Average Response
Count
Graduate students in the sciences should receive formalized training in public communication.
42.3% (55) 47.7% (62) 6.9% (9) 1.5% (2) 1.5% (2) 1.67  130 
Scientific organizations should conduct systematic research in order to better understand which messages are most likely to promote public interest and understanding.
25.4% (33) 46.9% (61) 19.2% (25) 3.8% (5) 4.6% (6) 2.02  130 
Scientists who make a major impact as communicators deserve as much recognition for their contributions as leading researchers.
40.8% (53) 33.8% (44) 15.4% (20) 5.4% (7) 4.6% (6) 1.85  130 
Funding agencies such as the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health should prioritize funding for research and programs devoted to science communication.
26.9% (35) 38.5% (50) 26.9% (35) 4.6% (6) 3.1% (4) 2.10  130 

Responses from former lab scientists or science graduates:

Science in the media
Strongly Agree Agree Disagree Strongly Disagree No Opinion Rating Average Response
Count
The media does a good job of informing the public about important or sensitive science issues.
0.9% (1) 21.7% (23) 45.3% (48) 29.2% (31) 2.8% (3) 3.06  106 
The best media for reaching the public are science sections in mainstream media outlets such as the New York Times science section, BBC news, or NPR's Science Friday.
8.5% (9) 51.9% (55) 34.9% (37) 3.8% (4) 0.9% (1) 2.34  106 
The best media for reaching the public are science-based publications such as Nature, Scientific American, The Scientist, or New Scientist.
2.8% (3) 10.4% (11) 52.8% (56) 34.0% (36) 0.0% (0) 3.18  106 
Public understanding of science
If the public had a better understanding of embryonic stem cells, current restrictions on research would be lifted.
Strongly Agree Agree Disagree Strongly Disagree No Opinion Rating Average Response
Count
9.4% (10) 38.7% (41) 39.6% (42) 8.5% (9) 3.8% (4) 2.49  106 
If scientists were more effective at communicating the science behind climate change, governments would be more likely to support measures to combat it.
Strongly Agree Agree Disagree Strongly Disagree No Opinion Rating Average Response
Count
14.2% (15) 50.0% (53) 26.4% (28) 7.5% (8) 1.9% (2) 2.28  106 
If scientists were more effective at communicating the evidence for evolution, fewer people would believe that creationism should be taught in science classes.
Strongly Agree Agree Disagree Strongly Disagree No Opinion Rating Average Response
Count
26.4% (28) 35.8% (38) 29.2% (31) 7.5% (8) 0.9% (1) 2.18  106 
If the public had a better understanding of science, governments would increase their funding for science.
Strongly Agree Agree Disagree Strongly Disagree No Opinion Rating Average Response
Count
18.9% (20) 46.2% (49) 24.5% (26) 4.7% (5) 5.7% (6) 2.16  106 
Science would be better off today if we had more scientists like Carl Sagan.
Strongly Agree Agree Disagree Strongly Disagree No Opinion Rating Average Response
Count
17.0% (18) 40.6% (43) 15.1% (16) 3.8% (4) 23.6% (25) 2.07  106 
The role of scientists in the media
Scientists do a good job of communicating complex technical issues to the public.
Strongly Agree Agree Disagree Strongly Disagree No Opinion Rating Average Response
Count
0.9% (1) 9.4% (10) 59.4% (63) 29.2% (31) 0.9% (1) 3.18  106 
In public, scientists should only comment on the technical details of their work and not discuss the ethical or policy implications of research.
Strongly Agree Agree Disagree Strongly Disagree No Opinion Rating Average Response
Count
3.8% (4) 9.4% (10) 49.1% (52) 37.7% (40) 0.0% (0) 3.21  106 
Research needs to be explained to lay audiences in all its complexities, no matter the type of media outlet or the nature of the audience.
Strongly Agree Agree Disagree Strongly Disagree No Opinion Rating Average Response
Count
11.3% (12) 26.4% (28) 39.6% (42) 19.8% (21) 2.8% (3) 2.70  106 
When scientists communicate with the public, the most important thing is technical accuracy.
Strongly Agree Agree Disagree Strongly Disagree No Opinion Rating Average Response
Count
13.2% (14) 24.5% (26) 51.9% (55) 8.5% (9) 1.9% (2) 2.57  106 
When scientists communicate with the public, the most important thing is accommodating their message to suit the audience.
Strongly Agree Agree Disagree Strongly Disagree No Opinion Rating Average Response
Count
20.8% (22) 52.8% (56) 17.0% (18) 8.5% (9) 0.9% (1) 2.13  106 
Communications training and research
Graduate students in the sciences should receive formalized training in public communication.
Strongly Agree Agree Disagree Strongly Disagree No Opinion Rating Average Response
Count
36.8% (39) 47.2% (50) 11.3% (12) 0.9% (1) 3.8% (4) 1.75  106 
Scientific organizations should conduct systematic research in order to better understand which messages are most likely to promote public interest and understanding.
Strongly Agree Agree Disagree Strongly Disagree No Opinion Rating Average Response
Count
23.6% (25) 51.9% (55) 17.0% (18) 4.7% (5) 2.8% (3) 2.03  106 
Scientists who make a major impact as communicators deserve as much recognition for their contributions as leading researchers.
Strongly Agree Agree Disagree Strongly Disagree No Opinion Rating Average Response
Count
36.8% (39) 47.2% (50) 9.4% (10) 5.7% (6) 0.9% (1) 1.84  106 
Funding agencies such as the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health should prioritize funding for research and programs devoted to science communication.
Strongly Agree Agree Disagree Strongly Disagree No Opinion Rating Average Response
Count
32.1% (34) 44.3% (47) 17.0% (18) 3.8% (4) 2.8% (3) 1.92  106 

Responses from non-scientists:

Science in the media
The media does a good job of informing the public about important or sensitive science issues.
Strongly Agree Agree Disagree Strongly Disagree No Opinion Rating Average Response
Count
4.5% (3) 20.9% (14) 40.3% (27) 32.8% (22) 1.5% (1) 3.03  67 
The best media for reaching the public are science sections in mainstream media outlets such as the New York Times science section, BBC news, or NPR's Science Friday.
Strongly Agree Agree Disagree Strongly Disagree No Opinion Rating Average Response
Count
13.4% (9) 43.3% (29) 31.3% (21) 10.4% (7) 1.5% (1) 2.39  67 
The best media for reaching the public are science-based publications such as Nature, Scientific American, The Scientist, or New Scientist.
Strongly Agree Agree Disagree Strongly Disagree No Opinion Rating Average Response
Count
6.0% (4) 28.4% (19) 40.3% (27) 23.9% (16) 1.5% (1) 2.83  67 
Public understanding of science
If the public had a better understanding of embryonic stem cells, current restrictions on research would be lifted.
Strongly Agree Agree Disagree Strongly Disagree No Opinion Rating Average Response
Count
19.4% (13) 38.8% (26) 26.9% (18) 9.0% (6) 6.0% (4) 2.27  67 
If scientists were more effective at communicating the science behind climate change, governments would be more likely to support measures to combat it.
Strongly Agree Agree Disagree Strongly Disagree No Opinion Rating Average Response
Count
19.4% (13) 41.8% (28) 28.4% (19) 6.0% (4) 4.5% (3) 2.22  67 
If scientists were more effective at communicating the evidence for evolution, fewer people would believe that creationism should be taught in science classes.
Strongly Agree Agree Disagree Strongly Disagree No Opinion Rating Average Response
Count
25.4% (17) 31.3% (21) 29.9% (20) 10.4% (7) 3.0% (2) 2.26  67 
If the public had a better understanding of science, governments would increase their funding for science.
Strongly Agree Agree Disagree Strongly Disagree No Opinion Rating Average Response
Count
26.9% (18) 58.2% (39) 10.4% (7) 3.0% (2) 1.5% (1) 1.89  67 
Science would be better off today if we had more scientists like Carl Sagan.
Strongly Agree Agree Disagree Strongly Disagree No Opinion Rating Average Response
Count
23.9% (16) 38.8% (26) 10.4% (7) 0.0% (0) 26.9% (18) 1.82  67 
The role of scientists in the media
Scientists do a good job of communicating complex technical issues to the public.
Strongly Agree Agree Disagree Strongly Disagree No Opinion Rating Average Response
Count
6.0% (4) 10.4% (7) 56.7% (38) 23.9% (16) 3.0% (2) 3.02  67 
In public, scientists should only comment on the technical details of their work and not discuss the ethical or policy implications of research.
Strongly Agree Agree Disagree Strongly Disagree No Opinion Rating Average Response
Count
7.5% (5) 13.4% (9) 43.3% (29) 35.8% (24) 0.0% (0) 3.07  67 
Research needs to be explained to lay audiences in all its complexities, no matter the type of media outlet or the nature of the audience.
Strongly Agree Agree Disagree Strongly Disagree No Opinion Rating Average Response
Count
14.9% (10) 25.4% (17) 35.8% (24) 22.4% (15) 1.5% (1) 2.67  67 
When scientists communicate with the public, the most important thing is technical accuracy.
Strongly Agree Agree Disagree Strongly Disagree No Opinion Rating Average Response
Count
13.4% (9) 28.4% (19) 46.3% (31) 10.4% (7) 1.5% (1) 2.55  67 
When scientists communicate with the public, the most important thing is accommodating their message to suit the audience.
Strongly Agree Agree Disagree Strongly Disagree No Opinion Rating Average Response
Count
28.4% (19) 35.8% (24) 22.4% (15) 10.4% (7) 3.0% (2) 2.15  67 
Communications training and research
Graduate students in the sciences should receive formalized training in public communication.
Strongly Agree Agree Disagree Strongly Disagree No Opinion Rating Average Response
Count
43.3% (29) 47.8% (32) 4.5% (3) 0.0% (0) 4.5% (3) 1.59  67 
Scientific organizations should conduct systematic research in order to better understand which messages are most likely to promote public interest and understanding.
Strongly Agree Agree Disagree Strongly Disagree No Opinion Rating Average Response
Count
28.4% (19) 47.8% (32) 17.9% (12) 1.5% (1) 4.5% (3) 1.92  67 
Scientists who make a major impact as communicators deserve as much recognition for their contributions as leading researchers.
Strongly Agree Agree Disagree Strongly Disagree No Opinion Rating Average Response
Count
40.3% (27) 34.3% (23) 19.4% (13) 0.0% (0) 6.0% (4) 1.78  67 
Funding agencies such as the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health should prioritize funding for research and programs devoted to science communication.
Strongly Agree Agree Disagree Strongly Disagree No Opinion Rating Average Response
Count
31.3% (21) 46.3% (31) 17.9% (12) 1.5% (1) 3.0% (2) 1.89  67