Skip to main content

Communicating the Way to the Adoption of Scientific Technologies

How politicization of science affects public perceptions of energy technologies

CHICAGO --- James N. Druckman has conducted extensive research on the effects of the politicization of science, which occurs when political interests shape the presentation of scientific facts to fit distinct models of “reality.”

A paper on this research was presented during a symposium held Friday, Feb. 14 at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Chicago. 

Druckman, the Payson S. Wild Professor in the department of political science at the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences at Northwestern University, was scheduled to present his research. However, in his absence, the presentation of the paper “When Can the Politicization of Science Affect Public Views of Health Innovations?” was given by one of his co-authors.

Specifically, Druckman and his co-authors theorize that politicization generates anxiety and results in a status quo bias such that citizens feel uncertainty about what to believe and hence stick to the status quo. Consequently, politicization generates a substantial obstacle for any new scientific innovation as it enters the political and economic marketplace.

The findings were presented at the AAAS symposium titled “Using Social Science to Change Decisions and Improve Health Outcomes.”

Also a faculty fellow with the Institute for Policy Research at Northwestern, Druckman has conducted extensive research on political preference formation and communication. His recent work examines how citizens make political, economic and social decisions in various contexts. He also researches the relationship between citizens' preferences and public policy and how political elites make decisions under varying institutional conditions.

Back to top