Misplaced faith: Communication variables as predictors of encouragement for biotechnology development

Document Type



Science communicators and the broader scientific community often expect media information campaigns to mold attitudes about science and technology in predictable ways. But resistance to technology is not always based on ignorance, and the ability of media-based education to directly shape opinions is actually quite limited. This article uses data from a recent U.S. national survey on opinions about biotechnology to argue that trust in institutional actors is a bigger factor than genetic knowledge in predicting encouragement for specific applications of biotechnology. The results have implications for the practice of science, as well as for the practice of science communication.


Biotechnology – Public opinion; Communication in science; Mass media; Science news


Communication | Journalism Studies | Mass Communication | Public Relations and Advertising | Science and Technology Studies | Social Influence and Political Communication

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