Stephen J. Farnsworth teaches courses in political communication and journalism at George Mason University, where he is associate professor of communication. His current research focuses on portrayals of the U.S. presidency in domestic and international media.
S. Robert Lichter is professor of communication at George Mason University, where he also directs the Center for Media and Public Affairs and the Statistical Assessment Service (STATS). His research interests are on the political content of news and entertainment media and the structure and dissemination of scientific opinion.
Over the past several decades, environmental issues have become a steadily more significant part of political discourse in the United States and around the world. Since the 1990s, politicians, journalists, and the public have focused increasingly on global climate change, the possibility that human activities are creating significant increases in planetary temperatures. Throughout these debates, the comments of technical experts have played an important part. However, the debate has had an important political dimension, with policymakers either seeking out scientific voices in support of their policies or discounting scientific opinion that failed to support them.
The Obama administration has taken global climate change as a given and has enlisted scientific expertise in developing its policies to combat global warming, a sharp contrast from Republican efforts during the George W. Bush presidency to undermine prevailing theories of climate change (Broder, 2009; Broder & Wald, 2009; Clayton, 2007;...