Want to reach concensus on controversial science? Discuss it less, say LSC researchers

An new article titled To Reach Consensus, Let’s Talk Less in Miller-McCune describes research done at CALS suggesting that the more we discuss the risks and benefits of a controversial science issue, the harder it is to reach consensus. The article is based on recently published research conducted by a team in the CALS life sciences communication department. The lead author of the study is Andrew Binder, now an assistant professor of communications at North Carolina who recently earned his Ph.D. here. Co-authors were LSC faculty members Dietram Scheufele, Dominique Brossard and Albert Gunther. As explained in the article, “the team studied the public reaction in six communities across the country that were being considered to host a new federal research facility under the Department of Homeland Security. Some community members welcomed the jobs the facility would bring, while others feared potential danger from the National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility, which will conduct research on “foreign animal, emerging and zoonotic (transmitted from animals to humans) diseases.”