How Professional Standards Shape Scientists', Lawyers', and Journalists' Approaches to Uncertainty

September 12, 2014 3:00 pm — 4:15 pm

Scientific uncertainty is inevitable in many public policy debates, especially in the environmental and public health arena. Scientists, lawyers, and media professionals develop and communicate the data, information, and analysis that inform public decision-making. But each of these professions regards and communicates scientific uncertainty differently, in part due to different professional norms and ethical standards.

This webinar examined how the fields of science, law, and journalism each address scientific uncertainty, and how core professional norms shape the way they communicate it. The webinar was held in advance of a workshop, The Ethics of Communicating Scientific Uncertainty: Understanding How Scientists, Environmental Lawyers, and Journalists Treat Uncertainty. Both workshop participants and the general public were invited to participate in the webinar. 


Jay Austin, Senior Attorney, Environmental Law Institute (moderator)

David Poulson, Knight Center for Environmental Journalism, Michigan State University

Jim Hilbert, Expert Witness Training Academy, William Mitchell College of Law

George Gray, Department of Environmental & Occupational Health, George Washington University


Archived Materials:

Webinar (PowerPoint presentations)


For more information about the Ethics of Communicating Scientific Uncertainty program, click here.