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

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. He is also an Honorary Professor of Communication at the Technische Universität Dresden, Germany and - during the fall 2015 semester - a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania.

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.

In the past, 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 (Germany). 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 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, and he is listed by Google Scholar as the most highly cited researcher in science communication and one of the top-3 most cited researchers worldwide in 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 currently co-chairs the National Academies' Roundtable on Public Interfaces of the Life Sciences. 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. 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. He has also been an editorial board member of most major communication journals.

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 Social Studies Divisional Committee, the Provost Office’s Cluster/Interdisciplinary Advisory Committee, the CALS Strategic Planning Committee, and a number of other university and college-wide committees. He is currently also a member of the UW Survey Center Steering Committee, the UW-Madison Athletic Board 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 academic year, click here to schedule an appointment through Google Calendar.


what's new

(Click here for current C.V.)

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

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

December 29, 2014: Interview with John Munson on WPR's Joy Cardin Show

December 5, 2014: Elected to Deutsche Akademie der Technikwissenschaften (German National Academy of Science and Engineering)

November 20, 2014: WAA Showcase Series talk on the future of media and journalism in an age of social media, Madison, WI

October 26, 2014: Plenary talk on Making Science Relevant in Today’s Society at The Wilflife Society Annual Conference, Pittsburgh, PA

October 20, 2014: Talk on public interfaces of Complex Materials, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Iowa State University, Ames, IA

October 2, 2014: New Op-Ed in The Scientist with Sara Yeo et al. on social media use among academics

September 19, 2014: Talk on bridging public-science divides at Duke Science & Society Science Communication Fellows Program

September 18, 2014: New article in PNAS on the inherent political nature of public debates surrounding (modern) science

September 18, 2014: New study with Xuan Liang et al. in JQ on the links between scientists' Twitter presence, media contacts and their academic impact

July 1, 2014: Conversation with National Geographic's Dan Vergano about the broader implications of Facebook's user experiments

June 26, 2014: New study with Timothy Fung et al. in Energy Policy on how ideology (re)shapes judgments about renewable energy

June 24, 2014: New study with Mike Cacciatore et al. in PS: Political Science on the origins of misinformation in politics

May 28, 2014: Talk on science-public interfaces at NAS Industrialization of Synthetic Biology workshop

May 25, 2014: New chapter with Amy Becker on political media effects in Casten Reinemann's edited volume on Political Communication

May 16, 2014: New online-first version of article in Science Communication with Leona Su et al. on real and perceived knowledge gaps in new media environments

May 15/16, 2014: Keynote on building better science-public interfaces, Research Council of Norway

April 30, 2014: New guest editorial in Materials Today with Sara Yeo et al. discussing the lack of attention to EHS and health in nanotech discussions on Twitter

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


recent publications
and columns

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.

Binder, A. R., Cacciatore, M. A., Scheufele, D. A., & Brossard, D. (2014). The role of news media in the social amplification of risk. In H. Cho, T. Reimer, & K. A. McComas (Eds.), The Sage handbook of risk communication (pp. 69-85). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Liang, X., Su, L. Y.-F., Yeo, S. K., Scheufele, D. A., Brossard, D., Xenos, M., Nealey, P., & Corley, E. A. (2014). Building buzz: (Scientists) communicating science in new media environments. Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, 91(4), 772-791. doi: 10.1177/1077699014550092

Fung, T. K. F., Choi, D. H., Scheufele, D. A., & Shaw, B. R. (2014). Public opinion about biofuels: The interplay between party identification and risk/benefit perception. Energy Policy, 73, 344-355. doi: 10.1016/j.enpol.2014.05.016

Yeo, S. K., Cacciatore, M. A., Brossard, D., Scheufele, D. A., & Xenos, M. A. (2014). Science gone social. The Scientist, 28(10), 27-28.

Scheufele, D. A. (2014). Science communication as political communication. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 111(Supplement 4), 13585-13592. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1317516111

Cacciatore, M. A., Yeo, S. K., Scheufele, D. A., Xenos, M., Choi, D-H., Brossard, D., Becker, A. B., & Corley, E. A. (2014). Misperceptions in polarized politics: The role of knowledge, religiosity, and media. PS: Political Science & Politics, 47(3), 654-661. doi: 10.1017/S1049096514000791

Kim, J., Yeo, S., Brossard, D., Scheufele, D. A., & Xenos, M. A. (2014). Disentangling the influence of value predispositions and risk/benefit perceptions on support for nanotechnology among the American public. Risk Analysis, 34(5), 789-980. doi: 10.1111/risa.12141

Cacciatore, M. A., Scheufele, D. A., & Corley, E. A. (2014). Another (methodological) look at knowledge gaps and the Internet’s potential for closing them. Public Understanding of Science, 23(4), 377-395. doi: 10.1177/0963662512447606

Anderson, A. A., Brossard, D., Scheufele, D. A., Xenos, M. A., & Ladwig, P. (2014). “The Nasty Effect:” Online incivility's effect on risk perceptions of emerging technologies. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 19(3), 373-387. doi: 10.1111/jcc4.12009

Li, N., Anderson, A. A., Brossard, D., Scheufele, D. A., (2014). Channeling science information seekers' attention? A content analysis of top-ranked vs. lower-ranked sites in Google. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 19(3), 562-575. doi: 10.1111/jcc4.12043

Becker, A. B., & Scheufele, D. A. (2014).  Media effects on political behavior. In C. Reinemann (Ed.), Handbooks of Communication - Volume 18: Political Communication(609-626). Berlin, Germany: de Gruyter.

Su, L. Y.-F., Cacciatore, M. A., Scheufele, D. A., Brossard, D., & Xenos, M. (2014). Inequalities in scientific understanding: Differentiating between factual and perceived knowledge gaps. Science Communication, 36(3), 352-378. doi: 10.1177/1075547014529093

Yeo, S. K., Xenos, M., Brossard, D., & Scheufele, D. A. (2014). Disconnected discourses. Materials Today, 17(2), 48-49. doi: 10.1016/j.mattod.2014.01.002

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.