Sharon Dunwoody

Sharon DunwoodyEvjue Bascom Professor of Journalism & Mass Communication


Indiana University
B.A., Journalism, 1969
Ph.D., Mass Communication, 1978

Temple University
M.A., Journalism, 1975

Research areas:

Science Communication, Risk Communication

Selected Publications:

Crone, W.C., Dunwoody, S.L., Rediske, R.K., Ackerman, S.A., Zenner, G.M., & Yaros, R.A. 2011. Informal science education: A practicum for graduate students. Innovative Higher Education 36(5): 291-304.

Sharon Dunwoody, "The Challenge of Trying to Make a Difference Using Media Messages," in Susi Moser and Lisa Dilling, eds. Creating a Climate for Change. (Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press, 2007), 89-104.

Dunwoody, S., Brossard, D., & Dudo, A. 2009. Socialization or rewards? Predicting U.S. scientist-media interactions. Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly 86(2): 299-314.

Peters, H.P., Brossard, D., de Cheveigne, S., Dunwoody, S., Kallfass, M., Miller, S. & Tsuchida, S. 11 July 2008. Interactions with the mass media. Science 321: 204-205.


Sharon Dunwoody teaches courses at UW Madison in science and environmental writing and communication research.

As a scholar, she studies public understanding of science topics, including the news gathering behaviors of science and environmental journalists, the nature of messages, and the effects of messages on audiences. In recent years, her work has focused on two research streams:

  • How do individuals use information to make judgments about health and environmental risks?
  • How do scientists and journalists interact to build science narratives?

She is head of the section on General Interest in Science and Technology of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, past president of the Midwest Association for Public Opinion Research, and past president of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.