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Jul 10, 2023 Article
U.S. adult viewers of information treatments express overall positive views but some concerns about gene editing technology

by Kathryn Stofer, Savanna Turner, Joy N. Rumble, Brandon McFadden, Kevin Folta, Adithi Jeevan, Tracy Ouncap, Kirsten Hecht, Cierra Cummins and Robert Thiel

Gene editing techniques (GET) may add precision and speed to the genetic improvement process. However, some adults remain skeptical. We examined U.S. consumer sentiment and concerns about foods derived from GET following information treatments. Randomly assigned participants viewed either: an industry-based video, a food blogger video, or a written article. We coded sentiment and themes of open-ended survey responses. Most responses were in favor of GET after intervention; the industry video produced the most negative attitudes; and technical benefits, concerns, and effects emerged among themes. Our research will help design engagement to boost consumer understanding of GET risks and benefits.

Volume 22 • Issue 04 • 2023

Jul 26, 2021 Article
Silent science: a mixed-methods analysis of faculty engagement in science communication

by Taylor T. Ruth, Joy N. Rumble, Lisa K. Lundy, Sebastian Galindo, Hannah S. Carter and Kevin Folta

To address science literacy issues, university faculty have to engage in effective science communication. However, social pressures from peers, administration, or the public may silence their efforts. The purpose of this study was to understand the effect of the spiral of silence on faculty's engagement with science communication. A survey was distributed to a census of tenure-track faculty at the University of Florida [UF], and the findings did not support the spiral of silence was occurring. However, follow-up interviews revealed faculty did not perceive their peers to value science communication and were more concerned about how the public felt about their research and communication.

Volume 20 • Issue 04 • 2021