john e. ross professor
department of life sciences communication
college of agricultural & life sciences
university of wisconsin

affiliate appointments
center for european studies; nelson institute for environmental studies; neuroscience & public policy; 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

short bio

Dietram A. Scheufele [DEE-trum SHOY-full-uh] is the John E. Ross Professor in Science Communication at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and Honorary Professor of Communication at the Dresden University of Technology (Germany). He serves as Co-PI of the Center for Nanotechnology in Society at Arizona State University, and currently also co-chairs the National Academies' Roundtable on Public Interfaces of the Life Sciences.

His most recent research examines the role of social media and other emerging modes of communication in our society. An elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters, Scheufele's work puts him among the ten most cited communication researchers worldwide.

Scheufele has been a tenured faculty member at Cornell University, a Shorenstein fellow at Harvard University, and a DAAD Visiting Professor at the Technische Universität Dresden. His consulting experience includes work for PBS, the World Health Organization, the World Bank, and other corporate and public sector clients in the U.S., Asia, Europe, and the Middle East.



Scheufele has published extensively in the areas of public opinion, political communication, and public attitudes toward emerging technologies, including nanotechnology, synthetic biology, stem cell research, (nuclear) energy, and GMOs.

His work has been supported by multi-year grants from the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Department of Energy and other funding agencies, and is cited widely across disciplines.

His article on Framing as a theory of media effects, for instance, is identified by Thomson Reuters Web of Science as the most frequently cited article in Journal of Communication since 1999 and by Microsoft Academic Search as one of the 10 most cited articles ever in the communication discipline. Scheufele has also co-authored three of the top-10 most cited articles in Political Communication.


academic honors

Scheufele is one of only two mass communication scholars to have won both early career awards in the discipline, the Young Scholar Award for outstanding early career research from the International Communication Association, and the Hillier Krieghbaum Under-40 Award for outstanding achievement in teaching, research and public service from the Association for Education in Journalism & Mass Communication.

Scheufele's scholarship and teaching has also 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 Kellet Award from UW-Madison, the Pound Research Award from the College of Agricultural & Life Sciences at UW-Madison, the Young Faculty Teaching Excellence Award from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell University, and various other top-paper and teaching awards.


academic service

Scheufele 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. He has co-chaired the National Conference of Lawyers and Scientists, a joint committee of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Bar Association, and served on committees and advisory panels for numerous other organizations, including the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the National Academy of Engineering, the National Academy of Sciences, the American Political Science Association, the International Communication Association, and the Association for Education in Journalism & Mass Communication.

He is a member of the editorial boards of Communication Methods and Measures, Communication Research, Communication Studies, Human Communication Research, Journal of Communication, Mass Communication & Society, Political Communication, and Studies in Communication | Media.

At UW-Madison, Scheufele has served on the University Committee, the University Committee on Honorary Degrees, the Social Studies Divisional Committee, the Provost Office’s Cluster/Interdisciplinary Advisory Committee, the CALS Academic Affairs Visioning Committee, the CALS Strategic Planning Committee, the UW Survey Center Steering Committee, and a number of other university and college-wide committees. Scheufele also currently chairs the CALS Equity and Diversity Committee.


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 academic year, click here to schedule an appointment through Google Calendar.


what's new

(Click here for current C.V.)

April 17, 2014: Kellet Award from UW-Madison

April 10, 2014: Google+ online discussion with Union of Concerned Scientists on the future of societal debates about science in highly polarized political environments (invite here)

March 21, 2014: New Materials Today column with Sara Yeo et al. on the absence of environmental health and safety content from Twitter debates surrounding nanotechnology

February 15, 2014: Talk at annual AAAS meeting on new technologies, public trust, and deference toward scientific authority

February 1, 2014: Keynote talk at DGPuK/Universität Zürich conference on the changing nature of science communication

January 17, 2014: TEDx talk on why disagreement is a central part of (online) democracy

January 6, 2014: Online-first version of Energy Policy article with Sara Yeo et al. on U.S. public opinion on nuclear energy after Fukushima

December 5, 2013: Keynote at NSF Nanoscale Science and Engineering Grantees Conference

November 26, 2013: Panel discussion on trolls, online comments and the future of online news, Society of Professional Journalists

November 15, 2013: Kavli lecture on emerging technologies and the science/policy interface, Neuroscience & Public Policy Program, UW-Madison

November 9, 2013: New online-first article with Jiyoun Kim and co-authors in Risk Analysis on how individual predispositions moderate the relationship between cognitive processing and risk perceptions

October 15, 2013: Op-ed in the New Scientist on online comments and their effects on (science) journalism and democracy

October 14, 2013: Live discussion on KALW 91.7FM San Francisco on the complexities of online democracy and social media

(listen to MP3 here)

October 8, 2013: New article in Review of Policy Research on U.S. nanoscientists' views of technology regulation (with Elizabeth Corley and Youngjae Kim)

October 7, 2013: Talk on behavior and attitude change for Wisconsin chapter of Association of Energy Services Professionals

September 23, 2013: Talk at NAS Sackler Colloquium on Science Communication as Political Communication

(Watch the complete talk here)

August 13, 2013: Special issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on "The Science of Science Communication Sackler Colloquium"

August 13, 2013: Communicating science in social settings - a primer - in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

August 6, 2013: Named honorary professor of communication at the Technical University Dresden, Germany

July 9, 2013: ASTC Webinar on Changing perceptions among scientists about talking and listening to the public

July 2, 2013: New column in The Scientist with Sara Yeo et al., linking scientists' academic success to their willingness to engage with public audiences about their work

June 20, 2013: Panel talk on The future of (environmental) communication as a discipline, International Communication Association, London, England

(Slides available here)

May 20, 2013: Plenary talk, First Annual Conference on Governance of Emerging Technologies: Law, Policy, and Ethics, Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law, Arizona State University

May 16, 2013: New chapter in Patricia Moy's Communication and community with Andy Binder and Dominique Brossard on the impact of misperceptions of public opinion on (science) policy makers

May 9, 2013: Panel discussion on U.S. climate and emergy challenges, Wisconsin Academy of Science, Arts & Letters

May 3, 2013: Talk at Arizona State University on Emerging technologies at the intersection of science, policy, and rapidly changing media environments

April 25, 2013: Panel discussion on the risks and benefits of nano medicine, WOSU-TV, Columbus, OH

March 13, 2013: Talk at Wisconsin Farm Credit Legislative Conference, Madison, WI

March 8, 2013: Talk at Consortium for Science, Policy & Outcomes, Washington, DC (view video)

March 3, 2013: New York Times Op-Ed with Dominique Brossard on how reader comments re-shape our understanding of news ... and science

February 19, 2013: Online-first article with Ashley Anderson et al. in Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, linking (un)civil blog posts to public risk perceptions

February 10, 2013: New article with Ashley Anderson et al. in Journal of Nanoparticle Research on how small differences in lay explanations of new technologies have great impact on public perceptions

February 2, 2013: New article with Mike Cacciatore et al. in Politics and the Life Sciences on how media framing of biofuels shapes public attitudes

February 2, 2013: New article with Ashley Anderson et al. in Politics and the Life Sciences on issue attention cycles for emerging technologies in print and online media

January 12, 2013: Online-first release of new article with Kristin Runge et al. in Journal of Nanoparticle Research, tracking the social media discourse surrounding emerging technologies

January 4, 2013: New Perspectives article in Science with Dominique Brossard on what empirical data tell us about the promise and perils of online science communication


recent publications
and columns

(PDFs available at ResearchGate)

Yeo, S. K., Cacciatore, M. A., Brossard, D., Scheufele, D. A., Runge, K., Su, L. Y., Kim, J., Xenos, M. A., & Corley, E. A. (2014). Partisan amplification of risk: American perceptions of nuclear energy risk in the wake of the Fukushima Daiichi disaster. Energy Policy, 67, 727-736. doi: 10.1016/j.enpol.2013.11.061.

Fung, T., & Scheufele, D. A. (2014). Social norms, spirals of silence and framing theory: An argument for considering cross-cultural differences in media effects research. In W. Donsbach, C. T. Salmon & Y. Tsfati (Eds.), The spiral of silence: New perspectives on communication and public opinion (pp. 131-144). New York: Routledge.

Shanahan, J. & Scheufele (2013). Cultivation and the Spiral of Silence: Theoretical and empirical intersections. In Morgan, M., Shanahan, J., & Signorelli N. (Eds.) Living with Television Now: Advances in Cultivation Theory & Research (pp. 347-365). New York: Peter Lang Publishers.

Scheufele, B. T., & Scheufele, D. A. (2013). Framing and priming effects: Exploring challenges connected to cross-level approaches in media effects research. In E. Scharrer (Ed.), Media effects/media psychology: Volume V of the International companions to media studies (pp. 89-107). Malden, MA: Blackwell.

Corley, E. A., Kim, Y., & Scheufele, D. A. (2013). The current status and future direction of nanotechnology regulations: A view from nano-scientists. Review of Policy Research, 30(5), 488-511. doi: 10.1111/ropr.12036

Scheufele, D. A. (2013). Communicating science in social settings. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 110(Supplement 3), 14040-14047. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1213275110

Fischhoff, B., & Scheufele, D. A. (2013). The science of science communication. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 110(Supplement 3), 14031-14032. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1312080110

Ho, S. S., Scheufele, D. A., & Corley, E. A. (2013). Factors influencing public risk-benefit perceptions of nanotechnology: Assessing the roles of mass media, interpersonal communication, and elaborative processing. Public Understanding of Science, 22(5), 606-623. doi: 10.1177/0963662511417936

Binder, A. R., A., S. D., & Brossard, B. (2013). Contentious communities: Examining antecedents to opinion perception and expression during site-selection for a bioresearch facility. In P. Moy (Ed.), Communication and community (pp. 233-252). New York: Hampton Press.

Anderson, A. A., Brossard, D., Scheufele, D. A., Xenos, M. A., & Ladwig, P. (2013). Crude comments and concern: Online incivility's effect on risk perceptions of emerging technologies. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication. doi: 10.1111/jcc4.12009

Anderson, A. A., Kim, J., Scheufele, D. A., Brossard, D., & Xenos, M. A. (2013). What’s in a name? How we define nanotech shapes public reactions. Journal of Nanoparticle Research, 15(2), 1-5.
doi: 10.1007/s11051-013-1421‑z

Anderson, A. A.; Brossard, D.; Scheufele, D. A. (2013). Nanoparticle-related deaths: Science news and the issue attention cycle in print and online media. Politics and the Life Sciences, 31(1-2), 87-96. doi: 10.2990/31_1-2_87

Cacciatore, M. A., Binder, A. R., Scheufele, D. A., & Shaw, B. R. (2013). Public attitudes toward biofuels: Effects of knowledge, political partisanship, and media use. Politics and the Life Sciences, 31(1-2), 36-51. doi: 10.2990/31_1-2_36

Brossard, D., & Scheufele, D. A. (2013). Science, new media, and the public. Science, 33(6115), 40-41. doi: 10.1126/science.1232329