CFP – Science Communication: Linking Theory and Practice


 Science Communication: Linking Theory and Practice

Special Issue

Science Communication and Broad Societal Change

Guest Editors Maarten van der Sanden and William Evans
Increasingly, government funding for scientific research requires that research to have a broad societal impact. Researchers often propose to achieve this impact at least in part through public communication, assuming that engaging the public in science is a worthwhile end in itself or will necessarily serve to raise knowledge levels and change attitudes. Most also seem to assume that communication can play a key role in bolstering the societal impact of the scientific enterprise. Yet, are these assumptions justified?  Continue reading

ComSHER Officer Nominations

It is time to start thinking about who should fill our ComSHER officer roster for next year. Officers serve from Oct. 1 through Sept. 30 and will be voted upon or appointed during the business meeting at the annual convention. Our current officers can be found here:

The following positions may be available. Read the description in our bylaws to see the duties of each position:

  • Research Chair
  • Teaching Chair
  • PF&R Chair
  • Secretary
  • Social Media Chair
  • Website Chair
  • Newsletter Chair
  • Membership Chair
  • Grad Student Ambassadors/Liaisons
Please email Michael Dahlstrom ( if you want to be nominated for any of these positions. Thanks and have a great summer.

Electronic News Division pre-conference workshop open to everyone

We hope you will join us in Minneapolis for the Electronic News Division’s pre-conference workshop, Picture This: Video and Mobile Teaching Tips. The workshop will be led by two master storytellers – Boyd Huppert of Minneapolis station KARE and John Goheen  of Loyola University Chicago. Between them, Boyd and John have won more than 25 Emmys and Edward R. Murrow awards, plus numerous others.  Annually they help lead the NPPA’s Advanced Storytelling Workshop, training participants from around the world.

Boyd and John will show us ways to enhance our video news gathering instruction in the art of visual storytelling, with concrete exercises we can incorporate into the classroom.

The second half of the workshop will feature an overview of mobile storytelling, led by John and Dr. Lee Hood. You may be surprised how easy it is to incorporate these skills and technologies into a variety of classes, and the interesting journalistic applications for them. Bring your smartphone (iOS or Android) and you’ll be editing packages before the session is over!  You don’t have to be an advanced video editor to take this workshop, even beginners are welcome. The mobile video part will assume that many people are beginners — and yes, even beginners will be able to edit basic mobile packages before the session is over.

The workshop is Wednesday, August 3, 1-5 p.m. at the conference hotel. Remember to sign up when you register for the conference. Registration is $35. We hope to see you there! If you have questions in the meantime, you may post them on the listserv or direct them to Lee Hood, Associate Professor, Broadcast News, Loyola University Chicago,

AEJMC ComSHER Article of the Year Award 2016

Declaration form for Nominees

The ComSHER Article of the Year is an annual award given to the year’s best science, health, environment and/or risk article by an AEJMC member to encourage better quality of scholarship in the field and within the association. Any AEJMC member may nominate a journal article by an AEJMC member for consideration for the award. Self nominations are allowed. For multiple-author publications, only one author needs to be an AEJMC member.

To nominate an article, you agree that:

  • You are an AEJMC member in 2016
  • The nominated article(s) is a ComSHER focused English-language article from a peer-reviewed journal
  • The nominated article’s author was an AEJMC member in 2015
  • For articles published in print journals, article(s) nominated are not pre-prints available online but are published in print in 2015
  • For online-only journal articles, they first appeared online in 2015
  • Only one first-author journal article per member is considered
  • In the event that a scholar is a non-first author on more than two articles nominated, that scholar has to select a maximum of two papers that will receive consideration

Up to six articles will be selected by the ComSHER leadership for full consideration by an Award Review Panel consisting of past ComSHER heads, peer-reviewed journal editors or associate editors, and/or full professors. The quality and originality of the research, as well as the expected impact of the work to scholarship in the areas of science, health, environment and risk communication will constitute the evaluation criteria.

The winner(s) will be presented with a certificate recognizing their accomplishment during the ComSHER business meeting at the AEJMC Annual Convention. Winners can indicate on their curriculum vitae and elsewhere that they received the AEJMC ComSHER Article of the Year Award, and their names will also be highlighted on the ComSHER website.

To nominate an article, send an email to ComSHER Vice Head Anthony Dudo ( listing a citation for the nominated article and confirming that you have read the above requirements and that all are fulfilled. The deadline for nominations is 15 May 2016.

AEJMC 2016 ComSHER Field Trip Planned

James Ford Bell Museum of Natural History Tour
​​Friday, August 5, 2016, 2​ ​p.m. to 4:45 p.m.

This year, we are going to the James Ford Bell Museum of Natural History, which is affiliated with the University of Minnesota and is located on its East Bank campus. We have a guided tour scheduled for our group at 3:00 pm. The Bell Museum was founded in 1872 and its mission is to collect, preserve, prepare, display, and interpret Minnesota’s diverse animal and plant life for scholarly research and teaching, public appreciation, enrichment, and enjoyment. Its collection hosts nearly 4 million specimens. We hope you will join us on this field trip. To register, please visit The registration cost is $5.00. There are a limited number of spaces on this trip; please register early to save your spot.   If you choose to make your own way there, we will meet in the Museum lobby at 3:00 pm. Bus and train fares should cost no more than $3.00. If you would like to travel to the Museum with the group, we will meet in the lobby of the Hilton Hotel at 2:00 to 2:15 pm. For additional information regarding this tour contact Sara Yeo, University of Utah at​.​


A Position Open at Samford University

Samford University

Department of Journalism and Mass Communication

Assistant/Associate Professor in Public Relations, Advertising or Multimedia Storytelling

Samford University’s Journalism and Mass Communication Department invites applications for a tenure-track assistant or associate professor in public relations, advertising or multimedia storytelling.

Samford University is the largest privately supported and fully accredited institution for higher learning in Alabama. Located in suburban Birmingham, the university was founded in 1841 and has more than 300 full-time faculty and more than 4,900 undergraduate and graduate students.

Qualifications: Ph.D. or ABD in mass communication or a related field required. Appointment will be at the assistant or associate professor rank. Two years of professional experience in public relations, advertising or multimedia storytelling is required. Candidates should be willing to support the university’s Christian mission.

Duties: The candidate should be able to teach skills courses in public relations and advertising or multimedia storytelling. Candidates must demonstrate the potential for excellence in classroom teaching, research/creativity productivity and service to the university.

Salary: The university offers competitive salaries with a generous benefits package. Salary is commensurate with credentials and experience.

Department: The JMC department has seven full-time faculty positions, a part-time adjunct, and 175 majors. It houses Samford’s sports-media minor and interdisciplinary film-production minor. The department features award-winning student media, a lecture series in cooperation with The Washington Post and a variety of study-abroad opportunities.

Screening of applications will begin March 21 and continue until the position is filled. The successful candidate will begin August 2016.

Send letter of application, curriculum vita with references, and evidence of teaching effectiveness to Dr. Bernie Ankney and Dr. Betsy Emmons, Search Committee Chairs, JMC Department, Samford University, 800 Lakeshore Drive, Birmingham, AL 35229. Telephone: (205) 726-2948; fax. (205) 726-2586. Email: and

Samford University is an Equal Opportunity Institution that complies with applicable law prohibiting discrimination in its educational and employment policies and does not unlawfully discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, age, disability, veteran status, genetic information, or national or ethnic origin.

Journalism and Human Rights: How Demographics Drive Media Coverage

Journalism and Human Rights: How Demographics Drive Media Coverage

41E5iLwer9L._SX354_BO1,204,203,200_Edited by: John C. Pollock

Routledge – 2015 – 168 pages: for further information:

Purchasing Options:

  • Hardback: ISBN: 978-1-13-885789-6; March 30th 2015


This book is the first collection of original research to explore links between demographics and media coverage of emerging human rights issues. It covers cross-national reporting on human trafficking, HIV/AIDS, water contamination, and child labour; and same-sex marriage, Guantanamo detainee rights, immigration reform, and post-traumatic stress disorder in the United States. The research asks questions such as: What are the principal catalysts that propel rights issues into media agendas? Why do some surface more quickly than others? And how do the demographics of cross-national reporting differ from those driving multi-city US nationwide coverage of rights claims? Continue reading

Circulating Ideas for 2016 ComSHER Field Trip

By: Sara K. Yeo

Science-Museum-of-MinnesotaI invite suggestions for the 2016 ComSHER field trip in Minneapolis, MN. Current ideas include visits to the Science Museum of Minnesota or the Bell Museum of Natural History. The Science Museum of Minnesota is located in downtown St. Paul with 70,000 square feet of exhibition space. Topics covered by the exhibits include anthropology, biology, and paleontology. Additionally, they have a research station, St. Croix Watershed Research Station, located on the banks of the St. Croix River, 35 miles from St. Paul. If we decided to visit the Science Museum of Minnesota, I will organize a guided group tour of the exhibits and, if possible, the research station.

The Bell Museum of Natural History is affiliated with the University of Minnesota and is located on its East Bank campus. They host a monthly happy hour forum for science and culture, Café Scientifique, at the Bryant Lake Bowl theatre in Minneapolis. A field trip to this location could include a tour of the museum and/or participation in Café Scientifique.

Please email Sara Yeo with any suggestions:

Connecting with the Tech Community

By: Rachel Young, Teaching Chair

Screen Shot 2016-02-15 at 12.30.28 PMWe have two engaging teaching panels in the works for AEJMC Twin Cities, both of which address the crucial task of teaching with and about technology. In a panel co-sponsored with Communication and Technology Division, we’ll discuss best practices for teaching coding to journalism and mass communication students. With Media Ethics Division, we’ll explore the ethical implications of the push to include technology in teaching. We’re hoping for a stellar lineup of panelists. If you have suggestions for scholars or practitioners who you think would be a good fit, please let me know:

Continue reading

Looking ahead to 2 Exciting PF&R Panels at AEJMC 2016!

By: Chris Clarke, PF&R Chair

As incoming PF&R Chair for the 2016 AEJMC conference, I am delighted to announce 2 exciting panels that we will be co-sponsoring:Screen Shot 2016-02-15 at 12.26.26 PM

Panel #1: Responsible Communication and Media Coverage of Contested Science in a Highly Charged Political Atmosphere. (Co-sponsored with the Political Communication Interest Group).

Recent events such as the 2014 measles outbreak, as well as upcoming events such as 2015 UN Climate Change Summit and the U.S. Presidential election, have given renewed attention to some of the most socially contentious science issues in the world today. This panel brings together research scholars and journalists to discuss “responsible communication” of these issues in an often highly-charged political atmosphere. Panelists will explore: (1) research-based best practices for helping address political polarization and cultural orientations as a barrier to effective science communication; (2) negotiating the fine line between research and advocacy; and (3) how journalists and scholars can better work together toward effective science communication. Panelists will represent a variety of fields, including science communication; political communication; and health/science journalism.

Panelist information TBA – I will have more information in the spring.  Stay tuned! Continue reading