Christopher D. Wirz

Christopher D. Wirz
National Center for Atmospheric Research · The Prediction, Assimilation and Risk Communication Section

Doctor of Philosophy

About

18
Publications
5,334
Reads
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418
Citations
Introduction
Postdoc studying risk communication at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR)

Publications

Publications (18)
Article
In this qualitative study, we analyze the experiences of those living in flood-prone economically constrained communities by exploring reloca-tion, risk perceptions, and communication in the context of extreme seasonal flood disasters. Our study included semi-structured interviews with residents in three communities and unstructured interviews with...
Article
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This paper synthesizes the efforts of an interdisciplinary, University-convened communication task force in the U.S. that used science communication theory to develop an effective strategy during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. We outline recommendations for researchers and practitioners who are, or are interested in, implementing theory...
Article
Effective public engagement with complex technologies requires a nuanced understanding of how different audiences make sense of and communicate disruptive technologies with immense social implications. Using latent class analysis (LCA) on nationally-representative survey data (N = 2,700), we examine public attitudes on different aspects of AI, and...
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We examined initial newspaper coverage of the COVID-19 outbreak (January–May 2020) in the United States and China, countries with contrasting media systems and pandemic experiences. We join the context-rich media systems literature and the longitudinal nature of the issue-attention literature to expand each by providing more system-level context fo...
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We used the 2014–2016 Ebola outbreak to examine the relationships between risk perceptions and media coverage (volume and content). We analyzed how public opinion from longitudinal U.S. panel data related to the number of published news articles and the proportion that discussed risks. News following, volume and risk content were positively related...
Article
Deference to scientific authority theoretically captures the belief that scientists and not publics should make decisions on science in society. Few studies examine deference, however, and none test this central theoretical claim. The result is deference is often conflated with concepts such as trust in scientists and belief in the authority of sci...
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Understanding how individuals perceive the barriers and benefits of precautionary actions is key for effective communication about public health crises, such as the COVID-19 outbreak. This study used innovative computational methods to analyze 30,000 open-ended responses from a large-scale survey to track how Wisconsin (U.S.A.) residents' perceptio...
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Gene editing is an inherently wicked problem with no single right answer and no group uniquely positioned to decide this answer. We discuss the intricacies of the debates surrounding both plant and human applications of gene editing. Specifically, we demonstrate how one technology has developed into two separate context-driven debates within the sc...
Article
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A bstract This study analyzes the relationship between state-level variables and Twitter discourse on genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Using geographically identified tweets related to GMOs, we examined how the sentiments expressed about GMOs related to education levels, news coverage, proportion of rural and urban counties, state-level polit...
Article
The objective of this study is to better understand the effects of media attention on Americans' perceptions of risk by analyzing the different media sources and outlets, or "repertoires," reported as used during the small 2016-2017 Zika outbreak in the U.S. We analyzed survey data from a four-wave longitudinal panel study over nine months-July 19,...
Chapter
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Since Donald Trump’s surprise victory in the 2016 US presidential election, media organizations, pundits, academics, and technology leaders are panicking not only over what they see as the sudden emergence of fake news but also over the difficulties of finding effective and sustainable solutions. But how new or even real is this idea of inaccurate...
Article
Political conservatives are consistently more supportive of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) in the U.S., while political liberals are consistently more opposed, yet the processes shaping this division are largely unexplored. Here, we illustrate how political polarization in support for fracking can be understood by how risk and benefit perceptions...
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In November of 2017, an interdisciplinary panel discussed the complexities of gene drive applications as part of the third Sackler Colloquium on “The Science of Science Communication.” The panel brought together a social scientist, life scientist, and journalist to discuss the issue from each of their unique perspectives. This paper builds on the i...
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Using the Zika outbreak as a context of inquiry, this study examines how assigning blame on social media relates to the social amplification of risk framework (SARF). Past research has discussed the relationship between the SARF and traditional mass media, but the role of social media platforms in amplification or attenuation of risk perceptions re...
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In May 2016, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) released the report “Genetically Engineered Crops: Experiences and Prospects,” summarizing scientific consensus on genetically engineered crops and their implications. NASEM reports aim to give the public and policymakers information on socially relevant science issu...
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We present an analysis of how citizens form attitudes about labeling nanotechnology, building on previous work on the socio-cultural dynamics under publics’ perceptions of risks and governance of emerging technologies. We examine whether individuals’ views about labeling nanotechnology products are correlated with their attitudes about genetically...
Article
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Social media and its embedded user commentary are playing increasingly influential roles in the news process. However, researchers’ understanding of the social media commenting environment remains limited, despite rising concerns over uncivil comments. Accordingly, this study used a supervised machine learning–based method of content analysis to ex...
Article
Genetically engineered food has had its DNA, RNA, or proteins manipulated by intentional human intervention. We provide an overview of the importance and regulation of genetically engineered food and lay attitudes toward it. We first discuss the pronaturalness context in the United States and Europe that preceded the appearance of genetically engin...

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Projects

Project (1)