By Sharon M. Friedman, Sharon Dunwoody, Carol L. Rogers
Exploring the interactions that swirl round clinical uncertainty and its assurance via the mass media, this quantity breaks new floor through those matters from 3 diverse views: that of verbal exchange students who've studied uncertainty in a couple of methods; that of technological know-how newshounds who've coated those matters; and that of scientists who've been actively desirous about getting to know doubtful technological know-how and chatting with newshounds approximately it. particularly, speaking Uncertainty examines how good the mass media express to the general public the complexities, ambiguities, and controversies which are a part of clinical uncertainty. as well as its new method of medical uncertainty and mass media interactions, this booklet distinguishes itself within the caliber of labor it assembles via the superior recognized technology communique students on the earth. This quantity maintains the exploration of interactions among scientists and newshounds that the 3 coeditors first documented of their hugely profitable quantity, Scientists and reporters: Reporting technology as information, which used to be used for a few years as a textual content in technological know-how journalism classes world wide.
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Extra info for Communicating uncertainty: media coverage of new and controversial science
Viewers may genuinely feel the same curiosity as the scientists depicted in the program. However, once this window of uncertainty is constructed, it must subsequently be closed to reconfirm the certainty-producing world of science. This case again illustrates the construction and careful management of scientific uncertainty in public science. These uncertainty claims on television may not be limited to controversies and fringe science, as Collins suggested. NOVA viewers, for example, can attest to the prevalence of uncertainty claims on these shows.
However, if scientists and their audiences share the same uncertainties, then why should scientists hold this special authority and, for example, have their work be deemed worthy of public funding? Early sociological treatments of public science assumed such a reduction in authority. Hence, these studies focused on how scientists hide or downplay the uncertainties of the laboratory and knowledge production process, while presenting a more certain version of knowledge for public consumption (Mulkay & Gilbert, 1982; Nelkin, 1975; Pinch, 1981).
Rather, uncertainty is constructed in particular situations with certain intended effects (Shackley & Wynne, 1996). In Myers' analysis, scientists may manage their own uncertainty by constructing uncertainty about opponents' claims and contrasting them to try to raise their own credibility. In other settings, uncertainty claims may serve other purposes. This approach to managing uncertainty does not mean that scientists are being disingenuous or biased. Rather, they are simply using uncertainty claims as a rhetorical tool to persuade others or simply to describe and organize some state of knowledge (Stocking & Holstein, 1993).