Lise Saffran, Director the MU Master of Public Health program, and other researchers from the MU School of Journalism, recently had a study published entitled, “Constructing and influencing perceived authenticity in science communication: Experimenting with narrative.”
This study takes an interdisciplinary look at definitions and measurements of authenticity to first, develop a tool to measure perceived authenticity in the context of science communications and second, test narrative strategies to enhance the perception of authenticity in the communication of scientific findings by an individual scientist to a general audience.
“It’s important research because we need to understand what kinds of things influence trust in science and scientists,” said Saffran. “There are serious consequences when segments of the public don’t trust scientific research findings, for example in the case of climate change or immunizations.”
The authors of this study believe that it is important to study authenticity in our changing media and communication environment. “Our hope is that this research will ultimately be useful to researchers working on important science and health topics because it will help them to communicate their findings more effectively,” Saffran said.
Phase II of this research project will entail testing versions of the strategy perceived as most authentic, the “origin story” in different kinds of scientific contexts.
Congratulations on getting published, Professor Saffran. Read the study.