Strategic science communicators need to select tactics that can help them achieve both their short-term communication objectives and long-term behavioral goals. However, little previous research has sought to develop theory aimed at understanding what makes it more likely that a communicator will prioritize specific communication tactics. The current study aims to advance the development of a theory of strategic science communication as planned behavior based on the Integrated Behavioral Model. It does so in the context of exploring Canadian scientists’ self-reported willingness to prioritize six different tactics as a function of attitudinal, normative, and efficacy beliefs. The results suggest that scientists’ beliefs about ethicality, norms, response efficacy, and self-efficacy, are all meaningful predictors of willingness to prioritize specific tactics. Differences between scientists in terms of demographics and related variables provide only limited benefit in predicting such willingness.

dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0224039
PLoS ONE
School of Journalism and Communication

Besley, J.C. (John C.), O'Hara, K, & Dudo, A. (Anthony). (2019). Strategic science communication as planned behavior: Understanding scientists’ willingness to choose specific tactics. PLoS ONE, 14(10). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0224039