john e. ross professor &
vilas distinguished
achievement professor

university of wisconsin-madison

college of agricultural & life sciences, department of life sciences communication

morgridge institute for research

honorary professor
institut für kommunikationswissenschaft technische universität dresden

affiliate appointments
center for european studies; nelson institute for environmental studies; neuroscience & public policy program; robert f. and jean e. holtz center for science and technology studies

b.a. equiv., johannes gutenberg-
universität mainz
publizistik (nebenfächer:
politikwissenschaft, betriebswirtschaftslehre)

m.a., university of
journalism & mass communication

ph.d., university of
mass communications
(ph.d. minor in political science)



dietram a. scheufele
[DEE-trum SHOY-full-uh]

short bio

Dietram A. Scheufele is the John E. Ross Professor in Science Communication and Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and in the Morgridge Institute for Research. Since 2013, he's also held an Honorary Professorship at the Dresden University of Technology in Germany.

Scheufele's research deals with the public and political interfaces of emerging science. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters, and a member of the German National Academy of Science and Engineering. He currently vice-chairs the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine's committee on The science of science communication: A research agenda, and also serves on their Committee on human gene editing: Scientific, medial and ethical considerations and the Division on Earth and Life Studies (DELS) Advisory Committee.

In the past, Scheufele has been a tenured faculty member at Cornell University, a Shorenstein fellow at Harvard University, and a Visiting Scholar at the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania. His consulting experience includes work for the Public Broadcasting System, the World Health Organization, and the World Bank.



Scheufele is one of the leading experts on public and expert attitudes toward emerging technologies, including nanotechnology, GMOs, synthetic biology, nuclear energy and fracking. His most recent research examines the role of social media and other emerging modes of communication in democratic decision making.

Scheufele's work has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Department of Energy and other funding agencies, and is cited widely across disciplines. Scheufele's publications have been listed by Web of Science among the 1% most cited articles in the fields of General Social Science as well as Plant & Animal Science. Google Scholar lists Scheufele one of the top-3 most cited researchers worldwide in science communication, science and technology policy and political communication.

Scheufele's scholarship and teaching has been recognized with the Robert M. Worcester Award and the Naomi C. Turner Prize from the World Association for Public Opinion Research, the National Academy of Sciences' Kavli Fellowship, the Young Scholar Award for outstanding early career research from the International Communication Association, the Hillier Krieghbaum Under-40 Award for outstanding achievement in teaching, research and public service from the Association for Education in Journalism & Mass Communication and numerous other research and teaching awards.


academic service

Scheufele has co-chaired the National Academies' Roundtable on Public Interfaces of the Life Sciences and the National Conference of Lawyers and Scientists, a joint committee of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Bar Association. He is a former member of the Nanotechnology Technical Advisory Group to the U.S. President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, and past President of the Midwest Association for Public Opinion Research.

At UW-Madison, Scheufele has chaired the CALS Equity and Diversity Committee and the the CALS Academic Affairs Visioning Committee, and has served on the University Committee, the Provost Search & Screen Committee, the University Committee on Honorary Degrees, the Athletic Board, the Social Studies Divisional Committee, the Provost Office’s Cluster/Interdisciplinary Advisory Committee, and the CALS Strategic Planning Committee. He is currently also a member of the UW Survey Center Steering Committee, and the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery Town Center advisory board.


contact information

University of Wisconsin–Madison
309 Hiram Smith Hall (map)
1545 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706-1215

(v) +1.608.262.1614
(f) +1.608.265.3042
E-mail: scheufele at

Google Plus: +dietram
Twitter: @scheufele


office hours

During the semester, click here to schedule an appointment through Google Calendar.


what's new

(Click here for current C.V.)

July 18, 2016: Communicating science at the nexus of policy and action; opening keynote, North American Congress for Conservation Biology

June 25, 2016: Schnittstellen von neuen Medien und noch neuerer Wissenschaft; public lecture, Institut für Kommunikationswissenschaft, Technische Universität Dresden, Germany

May 18, 2016: Opinion leaders and their positive impact on conversations in online cancer support groups; new online-first article with Eunkyung Kim et al. In Health Communication

April 20, 2016: Polarized politics and science in the U.S.; talk and discussion at Rotary Club of Madison

April 15, 2016: Regulatory frameworks for occupational health and safety of nanotech workers; new article with Jeong Joo Ahn et al. in NanoEthics

April 6, 2016: Science communication in polarized (new media) environments; keynote, The Graduate School, Northwestern University

April 4, 2014: Information sharing in an age of Big Data; online-first article with Jiyoun Kim et al. in Journalism Quarterly

March 25, 2016: Public and expert attitudes on synthetic biology. Synberc Spring 2016 Retreat, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA

March 1, 2016: Is the U.S. increasingly anti science? Crossroads of Ideas talk at Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery, Madison, WI.

March 1, 2016: How Twitter talks about male and fermale scientists in movies; online-first article with Molly Simis et al. in Bulletin of Science, Technology & Society.

February 11, 2015: Communicating synthetic biology; panel discussion at annual AAAS meeting, Washington, DC.

January 15, 2016: Buergerbeteiligung und soziale Medien in der Wissenschaft; talk at WiD workshop on Der Bürger und die Wissenschaft, Berlin, Germany

November 24, 2015: Expert stakeholders' views on engaging the public on (nuclear) energy policymaking; new online-first article with Nan Li et al. in Journal of Responsible Innovation

November 24, 2015: What (science) communication research and museums can learn from each other; talk at The Franklin Institute, Philadelphia, PA

November 12, 2015: Research and evidence behind effective science communication; NAS Science Ambassadors Program, Pittsburgh, PA

October 24, 2015: Nerd nite at the Wisconsin Science Festival, Madison, WI

October 24, 2015: (New) public interfaces for the life sciences; Keynote, Association for Politics in the Life Sciences, Madison, WI

October 17, 2015: Toward more translational #scicomm research for science museums; talk at the Association of Science - Technology Centers (ASTC), Montréal, QC

October 14, 2015: How citizens make sense of complex (scientific) information; talk at the University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg Public Policy Center

October 7, 2015: The politicized nature of science; talk at Rutgers University's Human Ecology Brown Bag Series

September 11, 2015: The (social) science of science communication; talk at Duke University's SciComm Fellows Program

September 5, 2015: Online-first version of new article in IJPOR with ByungGu Lee et al. on the reciprocal links between online searchers and public issue salience

August 11, 2015: Online-first version of new article in MC&S with Mike Cacciatore and Shanto Iyengar on "The End of Framing" as a useful theory of media effects

June 29, 2015: Online-first version of new article with Leona Su et al. in Science and Public Policy comparing drivers of policy attitudes among expert and lay publics

June 28, 2015: AEJMC Science, Health, Environment and Risk Communication Article of the Year Award for PNAS article on "Science Communication as Political Communication"

June 12, 2015: New article with Xuan Liang et al. in Public Understanding of Science examining value-based motivated reasoning in Singapore and the U.S.

May 19, 2015: Online-first version of new article with Leona Yi-Fan Su et al. in Journalism Quarterly on rapidly changing information environments (for science and technology) in the U.S.

April 12, 2015: New book chapter on motivated reasoning in online news environment with Sara Yeo and Mike Cacciatore

March 2, 2015: New online first article with Elizabeth Corley and Youngjae Kim in Science and Engineering Ethics on scientists' sense of social responsibility surrounding emerging technologies

February 9, 2015: New article in The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science with Sara Yeo et al. on how people seek out (partisan) sources for science news

January 15, 2015: Talk at NAS Roundtable workshop on Public Interfaces of GMOs, Washington, DC


recent publications
and columns

Scheufele, D. A. (2016). Experiments in the social sciences. In E. G. Bartick & M. Floyd (Eds.), Forensic science research evaluation workshop: A discussion on the fundamentals of research design and an evaluation of available literature (pp. 17-22). Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice.

Su, L. Y.-F., Cacciatore, M. A., Brossard, D., Corley, E. A., Scheufele, D. A., & Xenos, M. A. (2016). Attitudinal gaps: How experts and lay audiences form policy attitudes toward controversial science. Science and Public Policy, 43(2), 196-206. doi:10.1093/scipol/scv031

Ahn, J. J., Kim, Y., Corley, E. A., & Scheufele, D. A. (2016). Laboratory safety and nanotechnology workers: An analysis of current guidelines in the USA. NanoEthics, 10(1), 5-23. doi:10.1007/s11569-016-0250-9

Corley, E. A., Kim, Y., & Scheufele, D. A. (2016). Scientists’ ethical obligations and social responsibility for nanotechnology research. Science and Engineering Ethics, 22(1), 111-132. doi:10.1007/s11948-015-9637-1

Cacciatore, M. A., Scheufele, D. A., & Iyengar, S. (2016). The end of framing as we know it and the future of media effects. Mass Communication and Society, 19(1), 7-23. doi:10.1080/15205436.2015.1068811

Su, L. Y.-F., Akin, H., Brossard, D., Scheufele, D. A., & Xenos, M. A. (2015). Science news consumption patterns and their implications for public understanding of science. Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, 92(3), 597-616. doi:10.1177/1077699015586415

Yeo, S. K., Xenos, M. A., Brossard, D., & Scheufele, D. A. (2015). Selecting our own science: How communication contexts and individual traits shape information seeking. The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 658(1), 172-191. doi: 10.1177/0002716214557782

Liang, X., Ho, S. S., Brossard, D., Xenos, M. A., Scheufele, D. A., Anderson, A. A., Hao, X., & He, X. (2015). Value predispositions as perceptual filters: Comparing of public attitudes toward nanotechnology in the United States and Singapore. Public Understanding of Science, 24(5), 582-600. doi: 10.1177/0963662513510858

Yeo, S. K., Cacciatore, M. A., & Scheufele, D. A. (2015). News selectivity and beyond: Motivated reasoning in a changing media environment. In O. Jandura, C. Mothes, T. Petersen & A. Schielicke (Eds.). Publizistik und gesellschaftliche Verantwortung: Festschrift für Wolfgang Donsbach (pp. 83-104). Berlin: Verlag Springer.