Expertise, Trust, and Communication about Food Biotechnology

Abstract: Experts typically presume to speak with authority about complex concerns, such as agricultural biotechnology. Research indicates, however, that the effectiveness of risk communication depends on perceptions about the trustworthiness of the institutions and experts providing information. This exploratory study investigates how experts from a range of food-associated professions and institutions perceive their own roles in communicating about biotechnology. Most of the respondents rated scientists and other experts as most likely to tell the truth about biotechnology, but many felt that members of the public were most influenced by the mass media and by critics of biotechnology.

Citation: Lang, John T., Karen M. O’Neill and William K. Hallman. 2003. “Expertise, Trust, and Communication about Food Biotechnology.” AgBioForum 64: 185-190.

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