Zorn, T.E., Roper, J., Weaver, C.K. & Rigby, C. (2010). Influence in science dialogue: Individual attitude changes as a result of dialogue between laypersons and scientists. Public Understanding of Science, 21(7), 848-864.
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/4820
Dialogue as a science communication process has been idealized in both practitioner and scholarly literature. However, there is inconsistency in what is meant by dialogue, the forms it should take, and its purported consequences. Empirical research on the experienced benefits of dialogue is limited. The present study addresses this gap by examining attitudinal changes among laypeople and scientists in dialogue on the topic of human biotechnology (HBT). We found that, as a result of participation in dialogue, laypeople’s attitudes toward scientists were more positive and scientists’ and laypeople’s attitudes toward HBT tended to converge. Additionally, laypeople reported increased communicative self-efficacy after the dialogue experience. However, effects in some cases differed by dialogue format. Implications for practice and research are discussed.
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