john e. ross professor &
vilas distinguished
achievement professor

university of wisconsin-madison

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

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 Honorary Professor at the Dresden University of Technology in Germany.

Scheufele is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the International Communication Association, and the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters, and a member of the German National Academy of Science and Engineering. He currently serves on the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine's 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, and human gene editing. 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. He is 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

Twitter: @scheufele

office hours

During the semester, click here to schedule an appointment.

publications and citations

Google Scholar
Microsoft Academic

Click here for current C.V.

what's new

April 11, 2017: Inaurural Lecture, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Science Communication Lecture Series, Boston, MA

March 8, 2017: Communicating science effectively: A research agenda; final version of new NASEM report available for download

March 3, 2017: When intuition fails: What science tells us about effective communication; colloquium talk, Forestry & Wildlife Ecology, UW-Madison

February 14, 2017: Human genome editing: Science, ethics, and governance; release of new NASEM report, Washington, DC

February 9, 2017: Science, consumers, and emerging technologies; talk at the Badger chapter of The National Agri-Marketing Association

January 13, 2017: Blurring lines between god and man - public reactions to synthetic biology; new arrticle in BioScience with Heather Akin et al.

January 10, 2017: Communicating science effectively: A research agenda; release of new NASEM report, Washington, DC

January 11, 2017: Communicating science; The Matt Townsend Show on BYU Radio (recording here)

December 20, 2016: Science communication in an age of polarized media and politics; talk at Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Germany

December 13, 2016: Communicating science effectively: A research agenda; new National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine consensus report released

November 17, 2016: Polarized politics and the future of science; talk at Department of Communication, University of Utah

October 24, 2016: The brave new world of media and the future of science (communication); talk at School of Communication, Northwestern University

October 24, 2016: Effects of Pope Francis’ encyclical on U.S. public opinion on climate change; new article with Nan Li et al. in Climatic Change

October 19, 2016: Scientific communication with impact; talk with Barbara Kline Pope at School of Media & Public Affairs, The George Washington University

September 29, 2016: What makes scientists engage in political debates? Online first version of new article with Youngjae Kim et al. in Science & Public Policy

September 20, 2016: Science, citizenship and the brave new world of media; talk at Rita Allen Foundation

September, 16, 2016: Evidence-based science communication; talk at Duke University's Science and Society Initiative

September 8, 2016: Driving impact through scientific communications; talk with Barbara Kline Pope at Purdue University Grand Challenges Conference

September 8, 2016: How policy stakeholders prioritize risks of nuclear energy; online-first version of new article with Nan Li et al. in Journal of Risk Research

July 26, 2016: Knowledge, religion and trust in scientific institutions; new online-first paper with Mike Cacciatore et al. in Public Understanding of Science

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

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