Trust and credibility develop from complex interactions within the communication process and influence how people interpret, evaluate, and make decisions regarding sources and information (Brossard & Nisbet, 2007; Pornpitakpan, 2004). However, the specific interactions and outcomes of trust and credibility within science communication remain understudied, with knowledge widely dispersed across multiple fields, each with different definitions, measures and theoretical frameworks (National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, 2016). Scholars have described credibility as a multi-item construct that emerges from some combination of the audience’s perceptions of the source’s “trustworthiness” (character, honesty, believability) (McCroskey & Teven, 1999), “expertise” (qualifications, intelligence, authority, knowledge), and “goodwill” (caring, responsiveness, concern, empathy) (Teven, 2008). Yet, trust and credibility are not static concepts, and are constantly (re)articulated between people and over time by and through discourse (Prelli, 1989).

The 6th Summer Symposium on Science Communication, held at Iowa State University from June 7 to 9, 2018, fostered interdisciplinary conversations about the processes, rhetorics, perceptions, and limitations of credibility and trust in the contexts of science, the environment, crisis and risk. These proceedings explore several complex questions: How do publics, contexts, and discourses enable or constrain trust and credibility of scientific communication? How do trust and credibility emerge in these contexts? When do trust and public perceptions of credibility encourage or even delay public action on scientific issues? What are the relationships between credibility and trust on communities’ interpretations and receptivity to scientific information and decision-making?

6SS Proceedings Editor: Kathleen P. Hunt

We would like to thank the Iowa State office of the Vice President for Research for their generous financial support of a Presidential Interdisciplinary Research Seed (PIRS) Grant, as well as the Greenlee School of Journalism, and the Department of Agricultural Education and Studies for their sponsorship. We are also grateful to our colleagues Jean Goodwin at North Carolina State University, and Kajsa Dalrymple at the University of Iowa, for additional logistical and intellectual support.

Table of Contents

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Monday, January 1st

Exploring the Role of Trust and Credibility in Science Communication: Insights from the Sixth Summer Symposium on Science Communication

Kathleen P. Hunt, Iowa State University
Dara M. Wald, Iowa State University
Michael Dahlstrom, Iowa State University
Shuyang Qu, Iowa State University

Keynote Address—Paradox of Trust in Unsettled Times: Can Scientists "Speak Truth to Power"?

Tarla Rai Peterson, University of Texas at El Paso

Who Isn’t Biased? Perceived Bias as a Dimension of Credibility in Communication of Science with Policymakers

Karen Akerlof, American Association for the Advancement of Science
Maria Carmen Lemos, The University Of Michigan
Emily Therese Cloyd, American Association for the Advancement of Science
Erin Heath, American Association for the Advancement of Science

Critical Review of the Complex Interactions between Trust and Credibility Associated with Conservation Science

Cristi C. Horton, Tarleton State University
Tarla R. Peterson, University of Texas at El Paso

The Impact of Source Credibility on Scientific Skepticism of Climate Change and Genetically Modified Foods: Findings from the General Social Survey

Kathleen P. Hunt, Iowa State University
Dara M. Wald, Iowa State University

Understanding Organizational Trust of Zoos and Aquariums

Shelley J. Rank, New Knowledge Organization Ltd. and Wildlife Conservation Society
John Voiklis, New Knowledge Organization Ltd.
Rupanwita Gupta, New Knowledge Organization Ltd. and City University of New York
John R. Fraser, New Knowledge Organization Ltd, Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis and University of Southern California
Kate Flinner, New Knowledge Organization Ltd.

Credibility and Trust Issues Stemming from an Ambiguous Science Frame: Reducing Demand for Rhino Horn in Vietnam with the Fingernail Metaphor

Michael Smith, Griffith University

From Somewhere to Nowhere and Back Again: Emplaced abstraction in science communication

James T. Spartz, Unity College

Investigating Dimensions of Trust in Public Discussions of Diabetes Led by Certified Diabetes Educators

Jason A. Lochmann, Clinton School of Public Service
Emily T. Loker, University of Colorado Boulder
Christina C. Standerfer, Clinton School of Public Service

The Role of Trust in Public Attitudes toward Invasive Species Management on Guam: A Case Study

Dara M. Wald, Iowa State University
Kimberly A. Nelson, Iowa State University
Ann Marie Gawel, Iowa State University
Haldre S. Rogers, Iowa State University

Perceptions of Problematic Credibility in John Oliver’s “Statistically Representative Climate Change Debate”

Shelly A. Galliah, Michigan Technological University

How Journalists Establish Trust In Numbers And Statistics: Results From An Exploratory Study

Tony Van Witsen, Michigan State University

They’re Smart, but You Can’t Trust Them: Using Communication Principles to Help Scientists to Increase their Trustworthiness in Public Communication Situations

Rachel Murdock, Des Moines Area Community College

Using Values to Communicate Agricultural Science: An Elaboration Likelihood Model Approach

Allison Arp, Iowa State University

Credibility Strategies of Popular Health Websites: A Rhetorical Analysis of Parkinson’s Information Pages

Abigail Bakke, Minnesota State University, Mankato

Borrowing Credibility: An Exploration of Scientific Credibility in the Pseudo-Scientific, Live Water Website

Andra Steinbergs, San Diego State University

Post-Normal Concerns in Science Communication Pedagogies

Sara B. Parks, Minnesota State University, Mankato

"The Uninhabitable Earth," Higher Pessimism, and Proceeding Independent of Trust

Tom Duncanson, Millikin University