One of PZ Myers’ criticisms of the whole idea of framing scientific communication is the lack of specifics about how to implement the ideas Matt Nisbet and Chris Mooney are pushing. I’ve been feeling as well that the whole discussion has been a bit lacking in the way of concrete examples (Gavin’s attempt to anchor by example notwithstanding).
This morning, over at the WorkBlog, I wrote about what is, to me, an intriguing example that raises questions about the argument Chris and Matt are pushing. It’s a story from the Joliet Herald News about a public meeting regarding the U.S. Department of Energy’s Global Nuclear Energy Partnership. If you read through the story, you see the key opponents using what seem to me to be framing strategies. The DOE official uses the “nuclear power can play a key role in meeting our nation’s energy needs” frame. The project’s critic frames it thusly: “We are all electricity addicts.”
But if you read the story, you find a third frame, which appears to have been chosen by the reporter: the nuclear transportation safety frame.
How can a scientist be successful framing, as Matt and Chris suggest they must, if the news media doesn’t play along? And what is and should be the role of the news media in choosing the frames to highlight?
I’ve got no answer here. The floor’s open for discussion.