john e. ross professor &
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 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.

Scheufele's research focuses on public attitudes and policy dynamics surrounding emerging science. He is a member of the German National Academy of Science and Engineering, and an elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the International Communication Association, and the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters. He currently serves on the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Board on Health Sciences Policy, and Division on Earth and Life Studies (DELS) Advisory Committee.

Scheufele has been a tenured faculty member at Cornell University and has held fellowships or visiting appointments at Harvard University, the University of Pennsylvania, the Technische Universität Dresden, and the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München. His consulting experience includes work for Porter Novelli,  the Public Broadcasting System, the World Health Organization, and the World Bank.



Scheufele is one of the leading experts on science communication, political communication, and science & technology policy. His most recent research examines the role of social media and other emerging modes of communication in democratic decision making.

Scheufele's research program has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Department of Energy and other funding agencies.

His 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 also a former member of the Nanotechnology Technical Advisory Group to the U.S. President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.

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
dscheufele at

Twitter: @scheufele

office hours

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

publications and citations

Curriculum Vitae (PDF)

Google Scholar
Microsoft Academic


what's new

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)

December 19, 2017: Best poster award with Kate Rose et al., Society for Risk Analysis, Arlington, VA

December 19, 2017: Human genome editing: Who gets to decide?; talk at the Center for Advanced Studies (Biology of Genomes), Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Munich, Germany

December 13, 2017: Polarization and politicized science; talk at the Institut für Kommunikationswissenschaft und Medienforschung, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Munich, Germany

December 7, 2017: Science, media and polarized politics; talk at Macromedia University Munich, Germany

December 6, 2017: German National Academy of Science and Engineering panel discussion on science in an age of social media

November 16-17, 2017: Co-organizer; The Sackler Colloquium on the Science of Science Communication III, Washington, DC

November 12, 2017: The death of expertise amidst ubiquitous information?; Panel with Rush Holt and Darlene Cavalier at Assocation of Public & Land-grant Universities, Washington, DC

October 4, 2017: Twitter as a tool for science PR? New paper with Leona Su et al. in Science Communication

August 10, 2017: Public attitudes on human genome editing and public engagement; new article with scimep collaborators in Science

(full-text here)

July 31, 2017: U.S. attitudes on fracking: A multilevel analysis; new paper with Emily Howell et al. in Energy Policy

July 28, 2017: Can "simulated" moderation offset effects of uncivil online discussions?; new article with Sara Yeo et al. in Information, Communication & Society

June 12, 2017: Article of the Year Award (with Michael Cacciatore and Shanto Iyengar) for best article published in Mass Communication & Society in 2016, Association for Education in Journalism & Mass Communication

June 4, 2017: Declining confidence that government can ensure safety of food supply; new article with Kristin Runge et al. in Public Opinion Quarterly

May 18, 2017: How technical definitions affect views of about emerging technologies; new article with Jiyoun Kim et al. in Journal of Nanoparticle Research

April 30, 2017: Communicating science in modern media environments; talk at 154th Annual Meeting of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, Washington, DC

April 26, 2017: Preaching to the choir? Op-ed in The Conversation with Heather Akin et al. on connecting with hard-to-reach audiences for science

April 25, 2017: Just announced, Oxford Handbook of the Science of Science Communication (edited with Kathleen Hall Jamieson and Dan Kahan)

April 21, 2017: Sozialstruktur und politische Beteiligung; talk at Colloquium in honor of
Elisabeth Noelle-Neumann
, Mainz, Germany

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)