“What Helps Us Communicate About Risk? Analyzing the Cases of Zika and Climate Change”

Katherine Rowan, Professor in the Department of Communication at George Mason University, will speak on “What Helps Us Communicate About Risk?  Analyzing the Cases of Zika and Climate Change” at 4 p.m. in the Glasscock Library (313 Glasscock).    The disease, Zika, is upsetting and attention getting because its potential effects, severe brain injury to infants, are ones we understand and fear.  The world-wide phenomenon, climate change, which involves extra heat-trapping gases heating our planet, is already harming untold numbers of people. Climate change is causing excessive flooding, droughts, heat waves, and infection from diseases such as Zika.  We know many in the United States are upset and concerned about Zika and far less upset and concerned about climate change.  Why is that?  In this presentation, we examine hazards such as Zika and climate change to consider why these hazards are differently perceived and what social conditions assist people in managing differing types of danger.