Meet the frank 2017 Prize for Research in Public Interest Communications Finalists

The University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications will award two $1,500 prizes and one $10,000 prize to published academic research that informs the growing discipline of Public Interest Communications. Next month, three finalists will present their work at frank, a gathering of communications professionals, academics, researchers, artists, philanthropists, business leaders and advocates who use strategic communication to drive social change, and frank (scholar), a novel academic conference for researchers whose work adds to the discipline of Public Interest Communications in Gainesville, Florida. Both audiences will vote for the $10,000 winner. This year saw the greatest number of submissions for the prize. The three finalists were selected from a pool of applicants by a review committee of scholars and practitioners.

Meet the 2017 Finalists:


Counteracting the Politicization of Science
James Druckman, Northwestern University
Toby Bolsen, Georgia State University

James N. Druckman is the Payson S. Wild Professor of Political Science and Faculty Fellow at the Institute for Policy Research at Northwestern University. He is also an Honorary Professor of Political Science at Aarhus University in Denmark. His research focuses on political preference formation and communication. His recent work examines how citizens make political, economic, and social decisions in various contexts (e.g., settings with multiple competing messages, online information, deliberation). He also researches the relationship between citizens’ preferences and public policy, and how political elites make decisions under varying institutional conditions.

Druckman has published roughly 100 articles and book chapters in political science, communication, economic, science, and psychology journals. He co-authored the book Who Governs? Presidents, Public Opinion, and Manipulation (University of Chicago Press) and co-edited the Cambridge Handbook of Experimental Political Science. He has served as editor of the journals Political Psychology and Public Opinion Quarterly as well as the University of Chicago Press’s series in American Politics. He currently is the co-Principal Investigator of Time-Sharing Experiments for the Social Sciences (TESS). He also sits on numerous advisory boards, organizing committees, prize committees, and editorial boards.

Druckman’s work has been recognized with numerous awards including over 15 best paper/book awards; he also has received grant support from such entities as the National Science Foundation, the McKnight Foundation, the Russell Sage Foundation, and Phi Beta Kappa. He is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the recipient of a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship. His teaching/advising has been recognized with the Outstanding Award for Freshman Advising, a Faculty Mentoring Award, and an Outstanding Faculty citation by Northwestern’s Associated Student Government.


Lisa Fazio - NEW FACULTY - Psychology (Peabody College). Need environmental portrait (vertical and horizontal options) of Lisa Fazio, a new assistant professor of psychology at Peabody College.  Professor Fazio's research focuses on applying developmental and cognitive psychology to educational issues. She studies students of all ages from preschool through college and examines knowledge of simple facts such as history facts, as well as more complex forms of knowledge such as mathematics. Her research informs basic theories about learning and memory, while also having clear applications for classroom practice. She has an established publication record with publications in journals such as "Psychological Science" and "Cognition." Print and online MyVU. Photo by Joe Howell

Knowledge Does Not Protect Against Illusory Truth
Lisa Fazio, Assistant, Vanderbilt University
Nadia M. Brashier, Duke University; B. Keith Payne, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Elizabeth J. Marsh, Duke University

Lisa Fazio studies how people learn new information, both true and false, and how to correct errors in people’s knowledge. She received her PhD from Duke University in 2010 and completed postdoctoral fellowships at both Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh. Currently an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology and Human Development at Vanderbilt University, her research focuses on improving student learning using basic principles from cognitive and developmental psychology. She examines simple knowledge such as history facts, as well as more complex forms of knowledge such as mathematics. Her research informs basic theories about learning and memory, while also having clear applications for the real world and classroom practice.



The Conspiracy-Effect: Exposure to Conspiracy Theories (about Global Warming) Decrease Prosocial Behavior and Science Acceptance
Sander van der Linden,
University of Cambridge

Sander van der Linden is an Assistant Professor of Social Psychology in the Department of Psychology at the University of Cambridge, where he directs the Cambridge Social Decision-Making Lab. He is also a Fellow in Psychological and Behavioral Sciences at Churchill College, University of Cambridge and a research affiliate with the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication at Yale University.

Prior to Cambridge, van der Linden was a postdoctoral research fellow in the Department of Psychology and the Woodrow Wilson School of Public Affairs at Princeton University and a visiting scholar at Yale University. He received his PhD from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) exploring the social psychology of climate change.

Sander has won numerous awards for his research on social influence, judgment, communication, and decision-making, including awards from the American Psychological Association (APA), the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (SPSSI) and the International Association of Applied Psychology (IAAP). He was nominated as one of the “Top Thinkers Under 30” by Pacific Standard Magazine (although he is now 30!) and actively strives to conduct psychological research in the public interest. His work has been widely publicized in the media, including outlets such as the New York Times, Time Magazine, NPR, and the BBC.

Learn more about the prize and last year’s $10,000 prize winner Troy Campbell.


Posted: January 19, 2017