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Filter by author: Kathryn Stofer

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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

Feb 05, 2019 Article
Panel-based exhibit using participatory design elements may motivate behavior change

by Lisa Lundgren, Kathryn Stofer, Betty Dunckel, Janice Krieger, Makenna Lange and Vaughan James

Meaningful science engagement beyond one-way outreach is needed to encourage science-based decision making. This pilot study aimed to instigate dialogue and deliberation concerning climate change and public health. Feedback from science café participants was used to design a panel-based museum exhibit that asked visitors to make action plans concerning such issues. Using intercept interviews and visitor comment card data, we found that visitors developed general or highly individualistic action plans to address these issues. Results suggest that employing participatory design methods when developing controversial socio-scientific exhibits can aid engagement. We conclude by recommending participatory strategies for implementing two-way science communication.

Volume 18 • Issue 02 • 2019

Jan 21, 2016 Article
School of Ants goes to college: integrating citizen science into the general education classroom increases engagement with science

by Tyler Vitone, Kathryn Stofer, M. Sedonia Steininger, Jiri Hulcr, Robert Dunn and Andrea Lucky

Citizen science has proven useful in advancing scientific research, but participant learning outcomes are not often assessed. This case study describes the implementation and tailoring of an in-depth assessment of the educational impact of two citizen science projects in an undergraduate, general education course. Mixed-methods assessment of citizen science within a college classroom demonstrates that public participation in scientific research can positively alter attitudes towards science. The timing and type of assessments yielded significantly different results and qualitative assessment provided depth and context. However, disentangling the impact of the course from participation in the projects is the biggest challenge.

Volume 15 • Issue 01 • 2016 • Special Issue: Citizen Science, Part I, 2016