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Miscommunicating Science

Rowe, Sylvia MA; Alexander, Nick BA

doi: 10.1097/01.NT.0000303324.91814.fc
Nutrition and Communications

This article explores the rapidly evolving nature of communications from the perspective of the food or nutrition scentist who wishes not to miscommunicate; tongue-in-cheek tips are offered to scientists who are not afraid to mislead or misinform the public and hinder public understanding of their work. Analysis is offered of the chief causes of miscommunication and public misunderstnding of science.

A thorny problem dissected

Sylvia Rowe, MA, is an adjunct professor at Tufts Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy and at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She is also the president of SR Strategy, a health, nutrition, food safety, and risk communications and issue management consultancy located at Washington, DC. Previously, Ms Rowe served as president and chief executive officer of the IFIC and IFIC Foundation, nonprofit organizations that communicate science-based information of food safety and nutrition issues to health professionals, journalists, government officials, educators, and consumers.

Nick Alexander, BA, is former senior media counselor for the International Food Information Council Foundation, Washington, DC. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Harvard University. A former network correspondent with ABC News, Mr Alexander has been, for the past 7½ years, tracking and writing about science communications issues and the evolving challenge to public acceptance of credible science.

Corresponding author: Sylvia Rowe, MA, 1100 Connecticut Ave. NW, #1000, Washington, DC 20036 (rowe@srstrategy.com).

© 2008 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.