LSU Group Receives NSF Grant to Improve Communication of the Oil Spill
LSU School of Mass Communication and School of Coast & Environment partner with the Metcalf Institute for Marine and Environmental Reporting for three-stage process
BATON ROUGE – LSU researchers, working with the Metcalf Institute for Marine and Environmental Reporting at the University of Rhode Island, are working to improve the accuracy and coverage of science news relating to the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. The National Science Foundation, or NSF, chose to support the group’s work with a rapid response grant, allowing a three-state sequence of workshops and evaluation.
“The whole point of science journalism is to accurately educate the public about timely issues that they need to understand in order fully comprehend any dangers or developments they might be facing,” said Lisa Lundy, co-principal investigator of the grant and associate dean of research and sponsored programs at LSU’s Manship School of Mass Communication. “If the information being put out to the public is sub-par, or worse, simply incorrect, then there’s a missing link that we need to identify.”
LSU’s role in the grant is to co-host a science communication workshop in April 2011 that will be held near the coast of Louisiana, then evaluate the effectiveness of the seminars there.
“We’re looking at a before and after study,” said Lundy. “We want to determine the benefit of workshops like these, which are given to educate journalists and other communicators and aid them in accuracy and quality.”
In addition to Lundy, other LSU researchers leading the grant include Christopher D’Elia, dean of LSU’s School of the Coast & Environment; Kirby Goidel, associate professor in the Manship School of Mass Communication’s political science division; and Nancy Rabalais, adjunct faculty in the Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences and director of the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium.