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Communicating Science in Times of Crisis. COVID-19 Pandemic. Edition No. 1

  • Book

  • 416 Pages
  • May 2021
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
  • ID: 5839805

Learn more about how people communicate during crises with this insightful collection of resources 

In Communicating Science in Times of Crisis: COVID-19 Pandemic, distinguished academics and editors H. Dan O’Hair and Mary John O’Hair have delivered an insightful collection of resources designed to shed light on the implications of attempting to communicate science to the public in times of crisis. Using the recent and ongoing coronavirus outbreak as a case study, the authors explain how to balance scientific findings with social and cultural issues, the ability of media to facilitate science and mitigate the impact of adverse events, and the ethical repercussions of communication during unpredictable, ongoing events. 

The first volume in a set of two, Communicating Science in Times of Crisis: COVID-19 Pandemic isolates a particular issue or concern in each chapter and exposes the difficult choices and processes facing communicators in times of crisis or upheaval. The book connects scientific issues with public policy and creates a coherent fabric across several communication studies and disciplines. The subjects addressed include: 

  • A detailed background discussion of historical medical crises and how they were handled by the scientific and political communities of the time 
  • Cognitive and emotional responses to communications during a crisis 
  • Social media communication during a crisis, and the use of social media by authority figures during crises 
  • Communications about health care-related subjects 
  • Data strategies undertaken by people in authority during the coronavirus crisis 

Perfect for communication scholars and researchers who focus on media and communication, Communicating Science in Times of Crisis: COVID-19 Pandemic also has a place on the bookshelves of those who specialize in particular aspects of the contexts raised in each of the chapters: social media communication, public policy, and health care.

Table of Contents

Part 1 Conceptualizing Communication Science and COVID-19 1

1. Managing Science Communication in a Pandemic 3

H. Dan O’Hair and Mary John O’Hair

2. Comprehending Covidiocy Communication: Dismisinformation, Conspiracy Theory, and Fake News 15

Brian H. Spitzberg

3. How Existential Anxiety Shapes Communication in Coping with the Coronavirus Pandemic: A Terror Management Theory Perspective 54

Claude H. Miller and Haijing Ma

Part 2 Promoting Health and Well-being 81

4. Communication and COVID-19: Challenges in Evidence-based Healthcare Design 83

Kevin Real, Kirk Hamilton, Terri Zborowsky, and Debbie Gregory

5. Identity and Information Overload: Examining the Impact of Health Messaging in Times of Crisis 110

Jessica Wendorf Muhamad and Patrick Merle

6. Social Media, Risk Perceptions Related to COVID-19, and Health Outcomes 128

Kevin B. Wright

7. Overcoming Obstacles to Collective Action by Communicating Compassion in Science 150

Erin B. Hester, Bobi Ivanov, and Kimberly A. Parker

8. Communicating the Science of COVID-19 to Children: Meet the Helpers 172

Jennifer Cook, Timothy L. Sellnow, Deanna D. Sellnow, Adam J. Parrish, and Rodrigo Soares

9. The Use of Telehealth in Behavioral Health and Educational Contexts During COVID-19 and Beyond 189

Alyssa Clements-Hickman, Jade Hollan, Christine Drew, Vanessa Hinton, and Robert J. Reese

Part 3 Advancing Models of Information and Media 215

10. Toward a New Model of Public Relations Crisis and Risk Communication Following Pandemics 217

Zifei Fay Chen, Zongchao Cathy Li, Yi Grace Ji, Don W. Stacks, and Bora Yook

11. Perspective Change in a Time of Crisis: The Emotion and Critical Reflection Model 242

Helen Lillie, Manusheela Pokharel, Mark J. Bergstrom, and Jakob D. Jensen

12. Social Media Surveillance and (Dis)Misinformation in the COVID-19 Pandemic 262

Brian H. Spitzberg, Ming-Hsiang Tsou, and Mark Gawron

13. Science Communication and Inoculation: Mitigating the Effects of the Coronavirus Outbreak 302

Bobi Ivanov and Kimberly A. Parker

Part 4 Examining Policy and Leadership 321

14. Communicating with Policymakers in a Pandemic 323

Michael T. Childress and Michael W. Clark

15. Equally Unpleasant Choices: Observations on School Leadership in a Time of Crisis 338

Justin M. Bathon and Lu S. Young

16. Controlling the Narrative: Mixed Messages and Presidential Credibility 358

Robert S. Littlefield

17. Communicating Death and Dying in the COVID-19 Pandemic 375

William Nowling and Matthew W. Seeger

Index 391


H. Dan O'Hair University of Kentucky, USA. Mary John O'Hair