Social Networks and Popular Understanding of Science and Health

Sharing Disparities

Social Networks and Popular Understanding of Science and Health

Using social media and peer-to-peer networks to teach people about science and health may seem like an obvious strategy. Yet recent research suggests that systematic reliance on social networks may be a recipe for inequity. People are not consistently inclined to share information with others around them, and many people are constrained by factors outside of their immediate control. Ironically, the highly social nature of humankind complicates the extent to which we can live in a society united solely by electronic media. Stretching well beyond social media, this book documents disparate tendencies in the ways people learn and share information about health and science. By reviewing a wide array of existing research—ranging from a survey of New Orleans residents in the weeks after Hurricane Katrina to analysis of Twitter posts related to H1N1 to a physician-led communication campaign explaining the benefits of vaginal birth—Brian Southwell explains why some types of information are more likely to be shared than others and how some people never get exposed to seemingly widely available information. This book will appeal to social science students and citizens interested in the role of social networks in information diffusion and yet it also serves as a cautionary tale for communication practitioners and policymakers interested in leveraging social ties as an inexpensive method to spread information. -- K. "Vish" Viswanath, Harvard School of Public Health and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

The Oxford Handbook of the Science of Science Communication

The Oxford Handbook of the Science of Science Communication

The proposal to vaccinate adolescent girls against the human papilloma virus ignited political controversy, as did the advent of fracking and a host of other emerging technologies. These disputes attest to the persistent gap between expert and public perceptions. Complicating the communication of sound science and the debates that surround the societal applications of that science is a changing media environment in which misinformation can elicit belief without corrective context and likeminded individuals are prone to seek ideologically comforting information within their own self-constructed media enclaves. Drawing on the expertise of leading science communication scholars from six countries, The Oxford Handbook of the Science of Science Communication not only charts the media landscape - from news and entertainment to blogs and films - but also examines the powers and perils of human biases - from the disposition to seek confirming evidence to the inclination to overweight endpoints in a trend line. In the process, it draws together the best available social science on ways to communicate science while also minimizing the pernicious effects of human bias. The Handbook adds case studies exploring instances in which communication undercut or facilitated the access to scientific evidence. The range of topics addressed is wide, from genetically engineered organisms and nanotechnology to vaccination controversies and climate change. Also unique to this book is a focus on the complexities of involving the public in decision making about the uses of science, the regulations that should govern its application, and the ethical boundaries within which science should operate. The Handbook is an invaluable resource for researchers in the communication fields, particularly in science and health communication, as well as to scholars involved in research on scientific topics susceptible to distortion in partisan debate.

Science Literacy

Concepts, Contexts, and Consequences

Science Literacy

Science is a way of knowing about the world. At once a process, a product, and an institution, science enables people to both engage in the construction of new knowledge as well as use information to achieve desired ends. Access to scienceâ€"whether using knowledge or creating itâ€"necessitates some level of familiarity with the enterprise and practice of science: we refer to this as science literacy. Science literacy is desirable not only for individuals, but also for the health and well- being of communities and society. More than just basic knowledge of science facts, contemporary definitions of science literacy have expanded to include understandings of scientific processes and practices, familiarity with how science and scientists work, a capacity to weigh and evaluate the products of science, and an ability to engage in civic decisions about the value of science. Although science literacy has traditionally been seen as the responsibility of individuals, individuals are nested within communities that are nested within societiesâ€"and, as a result, individual science literacy is limited or enhanced by the circumstances of that nesting. Science Literacy studies the role of science literacy in public support of science. This report synthesizes the available research literature on science literacy, makes recommendations on the need to improve the understanding of science and scientific research in the United States, and considers the relationship between scientific literacy and support for and use of science and research.

International Encyclopedia of Public Health

International Encyclopedia of Public Health

International Encyclopedia of Public Health, Second Edition is an authoritative and comprehensive guide to the major issues, challenges, methods, and approaches of global public health. Taking a multidisciplinary approach, this new edition combines complementary scientific fields of inquiry, linking biomedical research with the social and life sciences to address the three major themes of public health research, disease, health processes, and disciplines. This book helps readers solve real-world problems in global and local health through a multidisciplinary and comprehensive approach. Covering all dimensions of the field, from the details of specific diseases, to the organization of social insurance agencies, the articles included cover the fundamental research areas of health promotion, economics, and epidemiology, as well as specific diseases, such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and reproductive health. Additional articles on the history of public health, global issues, research priorities, and health and human rights make this work an indispensable resource for students, health researchers, and practitioners alike. Provides the most comprehensive, high-level, internationally focused reference work available on public health Presents an invaluable resource for both researchers familiar with the field and non-experts requiring easy-to-find, relevant, global information and a greater understanding of the wider issues Contains interdisciplinary coverage across all aspects of public health Incorporates biomedical and health social science issues and perspectives Includes an international focus with contributions from global domain experts, providing a complete picture of public health issues

Illness Behavior

A Multidisciplinary Model

Illness Behavior

In August, 1985, the 2nd International Conference on Illness Behaviour was held in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The first International Conference took place one year previous in Adelaide, South Australia, Australia. This book is based on the proceedings of the second conference. The purpose behind this conference was to facilitate the development of a single integrated model to account for illness experience and presentation. A major focus of the conference was to outline methodological issues related to current behaviour research. A multidiscipl~nary approach was emphasized because of the bias that collaborative efforts are likely to be the most successful in achieving greater understanding of illness behaviour. Significant advances in our knowledge are occurring in all areas of the biological and social sciences, albeit more slowly in the latter areas. Marked specialization in each of these areas has lead to greater difficulty in integrating new knowledge with that of other areas and the development of a meaningful cohesive model to which all can relate. Thus there is a major need for forums such as that provided by this conference.

Handbook of Religion and Health

Handbook of Religion and Health

What effect does religion have on physical and mental health? In answering this question, this book reviews and discusses research on the relationship between religion and a variety of mental and physical health outcomes, including depression and anxiety; heart disease, stroke, and cancer; and health related behaviors such as smoking and substance abuse. The authors examine the positive and negative effects of religion on health throughout the life span, from childhood to old age. Based on their findings, they build theoretical models illustrating the behavioral, psychological, social, and physiological pathways through which religion may influence health. The authors also review research on the impact of religious affiliation, belief, and practice on the use of health services and compliance with medical treatment. In conclusion, they discuss the clinical relevance of their findings and make recommendations for future research priorities. Offering the first comprehensive examination of its topic, this volume is an indispensable resource for research scientists, health professionals, public policy makers, and anyone interested in the relationship between religion and health.

Urban Family Medicine

Urban Family Medicine

Now, more than ever, Family Medicine is alive and well in the United States. The base of this medical specialty has traditionally been in the smaller cities, suburban communities, and rural areas of this country. Over the past decade, however, there has been a resurgence of interest in primary care in our major metropolitan areas as a solution to the high tech subspecialty pace of the tertiary care environment. A rebirth of urban family medicine has accompanied these pioneering efforts. To date, the accomplishments are substantial and the prospects are bright. There is still a long way to go and there are a significant number of hurdles to cross. Although diseases are generally the same wherever you are, their effects as illness on the individual and the family are strongly influenced by the environment and social milieu. Urban families have distinctive and diverse problems-cultural, economic, and ethnic. Training pro grams situated in the large cities must recognize these issues and include special emphasis on the situations that the family physician is likely to encounter during and after his training. There is very little research literature on the background and nature of special urban problems and these areas are the subject of several chapters of this long overdue volume devoted specifically to urban family medicine. Dr. Birrer has persuaded true experts to share their knowledge with the reader.

Routledge International Encyclopedia of Women

Global Women's Issues and Knowledge

Routledge International Encyclopedia of Women

For a full list of entries and contributors, sample entries, and more, visit the Routledge International Encyclopedia of Women website. Featuring comprehensive global coverage of women's issues and concerns, from violence and sexuality to feminist theory, the Routledge International Encyclopedia of Women brings the field into the new millennium. In over 900 signed A-Z entries from US and Europe, Asia, the Americas, Oceania, and the Middle East, the women who pioneered the field from its inception collaborate with the new scholars who are shaping the future of women's studies to create the new standard work for anyone who needs information on women-related subjects.

Global Health

Why Cultural Perceptions, Social Representations, and Biopolitics Matter

Global Health

In this lesson-packed book, Mark Nichter, one of the worldÕs leading medical anthropologists, summarizes what more than a quarter-century of health social science research has contributed to international health and elucidates what social science research can contribute to global health and the study of biopolitics in the future. Nichter focuses on our cultural understanding of infectious and vector-borne diseases, how they are understood locally, and how various populations respond to public health interventions. The book examines the perceptions of three groups whose points of view on illness, health care, and the politics of responsibility often differ and frequently conflict: local populations living in developing countries, public health practitioners working in international health, and health planners/policy makers. The book is written for both health social scientists working in the fields of international health and development and public health practitioners interested in learning practical lessons they can put to good use when engaging communities in participatory problem solving. Global Health critically examines representations that frame international health discourse. It also addresses the politics of what is possible in a world compelled to work together to face emerging and re-emerging diseases, the control of health threats associated with political ecology and defective modernization, and the rise of new assemblages of people who share a sense of biosociality. The book proposes research priorities for a new program of health social science research. Nichter calls for greater involvement by social scientists in studies of global health and emphasizes how medical anthropologists in particular can better involve themselves as scholar activists.