The Department of Psychology is sponsoring “From Lab Study to Lay Audience: Adventures in Science Communication” on Thursday, September 17, from 9:30–10:30 a.m. in Uhler Hall, Room 111. Brian Hughes, PhD, professor of psychology and dean of International Affairs at the National University of Ireland, Galway, will discuss how the media (mis)communicates scientific findings.
Despite the prominence of
scientists in modern society, science is frequently misunderstood by
the public. The media can be unskilled, careless, or biased in
their reporting of science—but media distortions can often be
traced right back to scientists themselves, who can also be susceptible to
ineptitude, lazy-mindedness, or subjectivity. This talk will examine some
examples of science miscommunication in the public domain, the consequences
(both humorous and dangerous) of this, and the ways public communication of
science might be enhanced.
Brian Hughes is a professor
in psychology, specializing in stress psychophysiology. His research and
publications have focused on psychological stress (particularly its impact on
cardiovascular psychophysiology, immunity, and health) and on psychosocial
moderators of stress processes (such as social support, cognition, and
Hughes also writes widely on the psychology of empiricism and of empirically
disputable claims, especially as they pertain to science, health, and medicine.
In The Science Bit, his personal blog, he attempts to demystify science
and scientists and to show how scientific ideas can be used in everyday