Two faculty positions at University of Missouri

The University of Missouri School of Journalism is seeking applications for two faculty positions in science communication. The School has a long-standing reputation for providing cutting-edge research, teaching, and outreach work that influence and lead the industry. With an increasing need to deepen the public understanding of science and improve public discourse about science, these two new positions have been created to further the School’s mission of facilitating high-impact research activities that can help bridge the divide between scientists, science communicators and the broader public. Candidates may come from academic disciplines such as journalism, strategic communication or a related field, with research expertise in science communication as broadly defined.

This significant investment continues MU’s strategy of hiring faculty from key interdisciplinary areas to strengthen its culture of academic collaboration and industry outreach to attain a global impact. Successful candidates for the positions will be expected to help the University build an interdisciplinary, innovative, and forward-thinking center of science communication, bringing together researchers, students and professionals from journalism, strategic communication, science, engineering, public policy, law, business and other fields. The new faculty members will be housed in the School of Journalism and hold joint appointments in the College of Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources.  They are also expected to work closely with the Christopher S. Bond Life Science Center and other STEM programs across the campus. They will have the opportunity to work with the Health Communication Research Center at the School of Journalism.

Position 1: Full or Associate Professor
Qualifications and responsibilities: A Ph.D. in journalism, communication or related fields is required. The successful candidate must have an established research program including high impact publications and vigorous extramural funding with a primary focus in science communication. The successful candidate will be committed to interdisciplinary teaching, have a demonstrated ability to mentor graduate students and help create a climate that attracts students of diverse backgrounds. The new faculty member must have an enthusiastic desire and demonstrated ability to help develop a center for science communication, be able to collaborate
on interdisciplinary research and teaching with other academic units on campus, and to build connections with the professional community.

Position 2: Associate or Assistant Professor
Qualifications and responsibilities: A Ph.D. in journalism, communication or related fields is required.  The successful candidate must have a demonstrated record of research productivity with a primary focus in science communication. The successful candidate will be expected to engage in an innovative, extramurally funded research program and to teach and mentor students of diverse backgrounds. The ideal candidate will have an enthusiastic desire to help develop a center for science communication, be able to collaborate on interdisciplinary research and teaching with other academic units on campus, and to build connections with the professional community.

About Missouri School of Journalism
Founded in 1908, the Missouri School of Journalism is the world’s oldest and leading journalism program and has been widely recognized for excellence and innovation in undergraduate and graduate education and scholarship.  In its 2014 annual ranking of top journalism schools, NewsPro-Radio Television Digital News Association again ranked the Missouri School of Journalism “far and away” the No. 1 journalism school in the country. The National Research Council ranks the School’s doctoral program among the top journalism/communication programs in the nation. In addition, the School’s Reynolds Journalism Institute provides state-of-the-art resources for researchers and professionals to test new ideas, uses social science research to assess their effectiveness, and delivers solutions that citizens and journalists can put to use in their communities.
Currently, the School offers academic education and practical training to more than 2,000 undergraduates and 300 graduate students. The School has a close and productive relationship with other academic units on campus, the media industry and the local community. It operates award-winning, community-based, multiplatform news outlets and produces comprehensive research-based advertising and public relations campaigns for real clients.  The School also houses headquarters of prominent professional organizations, including American Society of
News Editors, Investigative Reporters and Editors, Association of Health Care Journalists, and the Picture of the Year International, among others.

About Columbia, Missouri
The University of Missouri (MU or Mizzou), located in Columbia, has an enrollment of 35,000 students and is Missouri’s largest public research university. Mizzou is also the flagship campus of the four-campus University of Missouri System and one of only five universities nationwide with law, medicine, veterinary medicine and a nuclear research reactor on one campus. A member of the prestigious Association of American Universities since 1908, Mizzou is considered one of the nation’s top-tier institutions.
With a population of 100,000, Columbia is located midway between Missouri’s largest cities, St. Louis and Kansas City. Money magazine, Fortune magazine, U.S. News & World Report, Men’s Journal, and have named Columbia one of the best places in the United States to live because of its high quality of life. Columbia is home to nationally renowned public schools, including two top-ranked high schools. The city provides many opportunities for art, culture and music enthusiasts and has been recognized as a bike-friendly community with many parks and trails.

To Apply
Apply online here ( by uploading (a) a letter of application that describes your research, teaching, and outreach/professional experiences; (b) a curriculum vitae, (c) evidence of teaching excellence, d) the names and contact information for three references. Please reference job number 19657. Review of applications will begin September 30, 2016 and continue until the positions are filled.
An Equal Opportunity/Access/Affirmative Action/Pro Disabled and Veteran Employer
The University of Missouri is fully committed to achieving the goal of a diverse and inclusive academic community of faculty, staff and students. We seek individuals who are committed to this goal and our core campus values of respect, responsibility, discovery and excellence.

To request ADA accommodations, please contact the Office of Accessibility & ADA Education at 573-884-7278 or

Assistant Professor, Health Communication at University of Maryland, College Park

The Department of Communication at the University of Maryland, College Park invites applications for a full-time, tenure-track assistant professor position in Communication Science with a specialization in health communication. The starting date for this position is August 15, 2017.

The successful candidate will have or show clear promise of a strong research program in health communication employing quantitative research methods. Experience with extramural research funding is highly desirable along with an interest in pursuing extramural funding (e.g., grants and contracts). The successful candidate will have an ability to teach undergraduate and graduate courses in health communication, communication theory, and quantitative research methods. Candidates must hold a Ph.D. in Communication or a related field at the time of appointment. They must also have the ability to advise graduate students. Teaching experience at the university level is highly desirable. Candidates who study underserved populations and/or global health issues are especially encouraged to apply.

The Department of Communication houses a Center for Health and Risk Communication (; a Center for Political Communication and Civic Leadership (; and an Oral Communication Center ( The Department of Communication offers B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees in Communication and an M.P.S. degree in Interpreting or Translation. The department features research areas in Communication Science, Public Relations, and Rhetoric and Political Culture. The university is located in the Washington, DC metropolitan area, one of the world’s most ethnically diverse and internationally significant cities. The area is the home to a number of preeminent federal funding agencies including the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation.

For best consideration, candidates should submit complete applications by October 1, 2016. The application should include a letter of application that describes the applicant’s research interests and other qualifications, a curriculum vitae, names and email addresses of three reference providers, evidence of teaching effectiveness, and sample(s) of recent research. Application materials should be submitted to
Applicants with questions should email Dr. Xiaoli Nan, chair of the search committee, at

Information about the Department of Communication is available on the departmental Web site (

Teaching Panels Tackle Coding, the Ethics of Teaching Tech

By Rachel Young

Please join ComSHER and co-sponsors for two timely and stimulating teaching panels Thursday and Friday in Minneapolis.

Thursday from 11:45 am to 1:15 pm, come discuss best practices for teaching coding, a skill increasing in demand for journalism grads. Co-sponsored with Communication and Technology, “Cracking the Code: Tips for Teaching Coding to Journalism Students” will address how we can best prepare journalism students to be conversant in code. Topics include, which coding skills are most in demand among employers? And what classroom contexts, projects, and learning objectives are most appropriate when teaching coding? We have a top-notch panel lined up: Aaron Chimbel, Texas Christian; Dana Coester, West Virginia; Kevin Ripka, Iowa; and Cindy Royal, Texas State.

Friday morning from 8:15 to 9:45 am we will engage with the ethnical issues that arise when incorporating technology in the classroom. Co-sponsored with Media Ethnics, our panel on “Inclusivity and Teaching Technology” will discuss the gender gap in technology circles, socioeconomic and K-12 disparities in technology access and exposure, assumptions often made about students’ technology skills, and the use of technology in grading and assessment. Expert panelists are Kathleen Cartzen Bulver, Wisconsin-Madison; Aileen E. Gallagher, Syracuse; Andrew Mendelson, CUNY; and Cindy Royal, Texas State.

ComSHER Leads Submissions for 2016

By Avery Holton

This year AEJMC received 1,564 submissions, more than eight percent of which went to ComSHER. We received more submissions than any other division (129), accepting 65 papers. One-hundred-fourteen peer reviewers helped to ensure three reviews for every submission. Z Scores ranging from 1 (worst) to 5 (best) were used to rank order papers. Scores ranged from 2.07 to 4.83 with a median score of 3.47.

Nineteen papers will be presented in four exciting refereed research sessions, including our Top Faculty Paper Session on Saturday, August 6 from 5:15 – 6:45 p.m. Hosted by Michael Dahlstrom (Iowa State), the panel will feature:

Top Faculty Paper
Science in the Social Media Age: Profiles of Science Blog Readers; Paige Jarreau and Lance Porter, Louisiana State

Second-Place Faculty Paper
Using Weight-of-Experts Messaging to Communicate Accurately about Contested SciencePatrice Kohl and Sharon Dunwoody, Wisconsin-Madison

Third-Place Faculty Paper
Sharing Health-Related Information on Facebook: An Integrated ModelMing-Ching Liang, Metropolitan State

Top Student Paper; Lori Eason Prize
Testing the Effects of Dialogic Communication on Attitudes and Behavioral Intentions Related to Polarized and Non-polarized Scientific Issues; Nicole Lee, Texas Tech

Our other refereed research sessions include Friday’s “Science and Evolving Methods of Information Conveyance” moderated by Sara Yeo (Utah), Saturday’s “Communicating Health: Messages, Social Support, and the Construction of Knowledge” moderated by Avery Holton (Utah), and Sunday’s “New (Theoretical) Considerations of Environment and Risk” moderated by Jessica Gall Myrick (Indiana).

ComSHER scholar-to-scholar sessions will take place on Friday from 5:00 – 6:30 p.m. and Saturday from 3:30 – 5:00 p.m.


Faculty Opening at Texas Tech University

Associate Professor opening in the College of Media and Communication at Texas Tech University: We are searching for a senior colleague with an interest in Communication research related to HSTEM to join us in our outstanding research facility, the Center for Communication Research. This is an exciting time of growth in the college. Please contact Paul Bolls, with any questions.

Minneapolis Highlights

By Michael Dahlstrom

Minneapolis may be known for its parks and lakes, but it will soon add one of the best ComSHER programs to its tourist brochures. This year was one of our most competitive research competitions and we are excited to showcase some excellent research sessions with our top paper session being held on Saturday, August 6 from 5:15 to 6:45 p.m. Our teaching and PF&R chairs have also put together some innovative panels that I encourage you to check out. If you need a break from sessions but long for more science communication, our off site field trip will take us on a tour of the James Ford Bell Museum of Natural History.

But now on to business. The ComSHER business meeting will be Saturday, August 6 from 7 to 8:30 p.m., which is immediately after our top paper session. This is the time we will recognize our many award winners, including the Top Faculty Paper, Eason Prize for best student paper, Article of the Year, and Top Poster Award. Approval of the minutes from last year’s meeting will also be an order of business, so please review the minutes of last year’s business meeting beforehand (

Not only does participating in the business meeting give you a voice in the future of our division, but it is a great way for newer members to meet scholars with similar interests and to get better aquatinted with our division. And to help lubricate this networking, we are holding the ComSHER social just after the business meeting. Join us in at 8:45 p.m. at the Skywater Lounge in the Hilton.

For those interested in leadership, the process according to our bylaws is as follows. For elected leadership (Head, Vice Head, Vice Head-Elect, and Research Chair), nominations must be submitted to me ( via email 48 hours before the business meeting. In order to qualify for any of the elected leadership positions, a member must have served as an officer at any level for a minimum of one year and reviewed papers for at least two years. The bylaws also make clear that a stable succession of leadership from Research Chair to Vice Head-Elect to Vice Head to Head is highly desirable. This succession order should only vary if someone is unable or unwilling to continue in the leadership progression.

For appointed positions in leadership (Professional Freedom and Responsibility Chair, Teaching Chair, Secretary, Newsletter Chair, Social Media Chair, Website Chair, Membership Chair, Grad Student Liaison), up to two people can be appointed to each of these positions to facilitate transitions to new chairs and involve more people in division activities. Graduate students may only serve in the capacity of Grad Student Liaison, Secretary, Newsletter Chair, Website Chair, and Social Media Chair. Although all division members are eligible and can indicate interest for these positions, preference will be given to members with a history of involvement with and service to the division, most importantly work in other appointed division positions, reviewing conference papers, panel organization/participation and attendance/involvement at division panels, events, and meetings.

And with that, I will end my final newsletter post as chair. I have been involved with the ComSHER leadership team for six years and it has been a great experience. Not only do all standard metrics confirm our division as one of the strongest in AEJMC (submissions, membership, fiscal operations, etc.) but also I remain impressed that we also continue to feel free to try new ideas and have fun doing it. Thanks to all and I look forward to seeing you in August.


The Bell Museum of Natural History: 2016 ComSHER Field Trip

By Sara Yeo

Join the ComSHER Division on its annual field trip (Friday, August 5, 2016, from 2 p.m. to 4:45 p.m.) to the James Ford Bell Museum of Natural History (! The Bell Museum of Natural History 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.

Registration is required and the cost is $5.00. To register, please visit:

There are two options for getting to the Bell Museum. In both cases, bus and train fares should cost no more than $3.00.

  1. If you choose to make your own way there, please meet the group in the Museum lobby at 3 p.m.
  2. If you would like to travel to the Museum with the group, we will meet in the lobby of the Hilton Hotel at 2–2:15 p.m.

For additional information, contact Sara Yeo at We hope you’ll join us!

ComSHER Article of the Year

By: Anthony Dudo, Vice Head

For the fifth year running, we are excited to announce the winner of the ComSHER Article of the Year Award 2016! Erik Nisbet, Kathryn Cooper, and R. Kelly Garrett’s article “The Partisan Brain: How Dissonant Science Messages Lead Conservatives and Liberals to (Dis)Trust Science,” published in The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, has been selected as the overall winner. Erik and his coauthors will be recognized for this achievement at the ComSHER annual business meeting in Minneapolis, where they will be presented with a certificate.

We would also like to congratulate Jeannette Sutton and her coauthors for taking second place with their article “A Cross-Hazard Analysis of Terse Message Retransmission on Twitter,” published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The ComSHER Article of the Year Award is offered every year to promote research excellence in the areas of science, health, environment, and risk communication by highlighting the stellar work produced by our colleagues in ComSHER. Eligible articles were those published by a ComSHER member in 2015. Altogether, a total of 11 papers were nominated. Six of these papers were selected by a committee of 3 ComSHER officers for final review, and these 6 finalists were judged by a panel of 7 judges consisting of past ComSHER heads, journal editors, associate editors, and full professors.

In accordance with the ComSHER Division bylaws, each of the 6 finalists was judged on two 7-point Likert scales, measuring the article’s overall quality and potential impact. Judges recused themselves from evaluating any article where there was a conflict-of-interest (former students, colleagues, co-authors, friends, etc.).

Thank you to everyone who nominated articles for consideration, as well as the judges, who generously volunteered their time, effort, and expertise to this year’s competition.

If you have any suggestions to make regarding the competition, please let me know at I look forward to seeing you at Minneapolis!

PF&R Panels at AEJMC

By: Chris Clarke

This year’s AEJMC conference once again features a stellar PF&R line-up, with two excellent sessions:

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

Thursday, August 4; 8:15 am to 9:45 am

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. Among the questions that will be explored:

1.      What are some research-based best practices for helping address political polarization and cultural orientations as a barrier to effective science communication?

2.      How do scholars negotiate the fine line between research and advocacy for issues about which they both study and care deeply?

3.      What challenges do journalists face in covering politically contentious issues?

4.      How can journalists and scholars better work together toward effective science communication?

Panelists will represent a variety of fields, including science communication; political communication; and health/science journalism. Case studies will include – but not necessarily be limited to – vaccine safety and climate change.

Panelists (confirmed): Graham Dixon (Washington State); Neil Stenhouse (Wisconsin); Tara Haelle (freelance journalist)

Panelists (tentative): Emily Vraga (George Mason) – just welcomed her son into the world this past weekend, so we’ll see what she feels like in 5 short weeks!

I am working to secure at least one additional panelist as well – stay tuned!


Session #2: Fostering Community Disaster Resilience: The Role of Journalism and Media (Co-Sponsored with the Mass Communication & Society Division)

Thursday, August 4; 10 am to 11:30 am

Synopsis: This panel will explore the role of journalism, local and mass media, and strategic communication in fostering community resilience to disasters. Current models of community resilience (e.g., Norris et al., 2007; Houston et al., 2015) include a focus on responsible media, trusted sources of information, social capital, community problem solving, and other related capacities.

What does this mean for journalists and media organizations? Do journalists and media organizations have an ethical obligation to foster community resilience? If so, does this obligation interfere with a free press?

From a practical perspective, how can journalists and media organizations foster community resilience? What insights from strategic communication might inform this work? How could social media and citizen or hyperlocal journalism be incorporated into disaster journalism work?

These questions and others will be explored through this panel. The panel will build on preliminary insights from the University of Missouri’s Disaster and Community Crisis Center and Reynolds Journalism Institute:

Panelists (confirmed):

J. Brian Houston, University of Missouri (Moderator)
Adam Glenn, City University of New York
Brooke Fisher Liu, University of Maryland
Brooke Fowler, University of Maryland
Mimi Perreault, Appalachian State University

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