The Public Understanding of Science
This field is comprised of scholars who study the interaction between experts and publics in terms of knowledge creation, science and technology controversies, and different kinds of expertise. Within the weather enterprise, these different groups interact within the context of the Integrated Warning Team, a multi-sector group of people, including emergency managers, broadcast meteorologists, and NWS forecasters.
While these groups are not perfect--they don't include enough different constituent groups, in my opinion, and neglect to include members of different publics--it is the place where knowledge sharing happens. I'm interested in the problem definitions debated by these collaborative groups.
- What counts as a tornado warning?
- Who should control warning sirens and what policies should be created to manage them?
- How do we communicate with the public?
- What kind of technologies and social media ought we be using?
I'm still formulating research questions for this group. However, I'm interested in how the National Weather Service might integrate this type of program into its Weather Ready Nation policy initiative.
The Integrated Warning Team in which I participated held two meetings last year, first in the Triangle area of North Carolina, and second in the Raleigh area.