taylor-bascom chair &
vilas distinguished
achievement professor

university of wisconsin-madison, 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 Taylor-Bascom Chair in Science Communication and Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and in the Morgridge Institute for Research. He is an elected member of the German National Academy of Science and Engineering, and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the International Communication Association, and the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters

Scheufele is one of the leading experts in the fields of science communication and political communication. Currently, he is particularly interested in the role that social media and other emerging modes of online communication play in (re)shaping democratic societies. Before coming to Wisconsin, he was a tenured faculty member at Cornell University. Since then, he has held fellowships or visiting appointments at a number of other universities, including Harvard University, the University of Pennsylvania, and - most recently - the Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster. His consulting portfolio includes work for DeepMind, Porter Novelli, PBS, WHO, and the World Bank.

(Click here for his complete CV.)



Scheufele's work examines how we all make sense of increasingly complex scientific breakthroughs that we often know little about, and how corporations, universities, and non-profits can work better with consumers and citizens to ensure that we use science to society’s benefit.

His research and teaching have been recognized with awards from both professional and scholarly organizations, such as the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Association for Education in Journalism & Mass Communication, the International Communication Association, the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, and the World Association for Public Opinion Research.

Extramural support for Scheufele's research program has come from a wide variety of funders, including the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the U.S. Department of Energy.

(For more information, see Google Scholar, Microsoft Academic, and ORCID.)


academic service

Scheufele currently co-chairs the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Standing Committee on Advancing Science Communication Research and Practice, and serves on NASEM’s Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education Advisory Committee, the Division on Earth and Life Studies Advisory Committee, and the Board on Health Sciences Policy. Since 2012, he has co-organized four NASEM Sackler Colloquia on the Science of Science Communication.

At UW, Scheufele has served on most of the university's main governance bodies, including the University Committee (Executive Committee of the Faculty Senate), the Social Sciences Divisional Committee, the University Committee for Honorary Degrees, the Provost Search & Screen Committee, the Campus Diversity and Climate Committee, and the UW-Madison Athletic Board.


contact information

University of Wisconsin–Madison
310 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 wisc.edu
dscheufele at morgridge.org

Facebook: facebook.com/dietram
Twitter: @scheufele


office hours

During the academic year, click here to schedule an appointment.




what's new

June 27, 2019: What science communication (research) and documentary films can learn from each other; panel at Sunny Side of the Doc, La Rochelle, France.

April 18, 2019: Studying the science of science communication in the era of social media, fake news and short attention spans, talk at Science and Society Initiative, Duke University, Durham, NC

April 16, 2019: Conversation with WUNC's Frank Stasio on how to share science on an age in fake news

April 15, 2019: Papers from the third NASEM colloquium on the science of science communication now available at PNAS, including our introductory remarks (with Baruch Fischhoff)

April 11, 2019: Communicating science in the Facebook age: Best evidence and practices for reaching consumers; keynote at Texas Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Annual Conference & Exhibition, Dallas, TX

April 3-4, 2019: National Academies colloquium on the Science and practice of science communication:
Misinformation about science in the public sphere
in Irvine, CA

March 13, 2019: Public atttitudes toward gene editing wildlife for conservation; new article with Patrice Kohl et al. in Conservation Biology

January 11, 2019: Science audiences, misinformation, and fake news; new open access article with Nicole Krause in PNAS

November 6, 2018: Science in an age of polarized politics. Talk at Stellenbosch University, South Africa

October 19, 2018: Beyond the choir? The need to understand multiple publics for science. New commentary in Environmental Communication

October 16, 2018: The ethical landscape of stem cell science. Panel discussion at the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery, Madison, WI

October 9, 2018: How to use (and not use) narrative in science communication. New perspective piece with Michael Dahlstrom in PLOS Biology

September 12, 2018: Do GMO attitudes bleed over into how consumers approach future technologies? New online-first paper with Heather Akin et al. in Journal of Responsible Innovation

August 8, 2018: Expert attitudes on public engagement and the ethical and regulatory challenges surrounding synthetic biology; new article with Kate Rose et al. in BioScience

June 30, 2018: Challenges of science communication today—and tomorrow? Keynote, Silbersalz Film Festival, Halle, Germany

June 7, 2018: Communication and the future of science, Universität Rostock, Rostock, Germany

May 15, 2018: Is Facebook making us dumber? New article with Mike Cacciatore et al. in Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly

May 11, 2018: The science of science communication; talk, Social, Behavioral & Economic Sciences Advisory Committee, National Science Foundation, Alexandria, VA

May 8, 2018: The civic science imperative; panel with Elizabeth Christopherson (Rita Allen Foundation) and Brooke Smith (Kavli Foundation) at Media Impact Funders Forum, Philadelphia, PA

March 26, 2018: Emerging technologies, science communication, and using the best available evidence; talk at 7th Young Environmental Scientist’s Meeting, Madison, WI

March 24, 2018: Communicating science in politicized environments; talk at Mayo Clinic Young Investigators Symposium, Rochester, MN

March 16, 2018: Public interfaces in the life sciences; talk at the NASEM Committee on Science, Technology and Law, Pasadena, CA

March 8, 2018: How trolling can undermine media credibility; new article with Ashley Anderson et al. in International Journal of Public Opinion Research

February 19, 2018: Are user comments most uncivil in local news environments? Online-first version of new article with Leona Su et al. in New Media & Society

February 16, 2018: Emerging science, cautious consumers, and using the best available evidence; talk at the Texas Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Dallas, TX

February 15, 2018: The civic science imperative; new article in Stanford Social Innovation Review with the Rita Allen Foundation's Elizabeth Christopherson and the Kavli Foundation's Brooke Smith

February 2, 2018: (New) political interfaces in the life sciences; online-first article in Politics and the Life Sciences

January 2, 2018: What we know and don't know from the science of science communication; new chapter in new edited volume Perspektiven der Wissenschaftskommunikation (complete PDF here)

(Click here for recent media coverage.)