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Sara K. Yeo

Assistant Professor of Communication, University of Utah
Chapter Leader: Utah SSN
Areas of Expertise:
  • Media & Public Opinion
  • Science & Technology

About Sara

Yeo's research interests include science and risk communication with a focus on information seeking and processing. Her work has been published in Public Understanding of Science, Risk Analysis, Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, and Materials Today, among others. Dr. Yeo is trained as a bench and field scientist with a M.S. in Oceanography (University of Hawaii at Manoa). Her training in the life sciences has been invaluable to her research at the intersection of science, media, and politics.

Contributions

No Jargon Podcast

In the News

Sara K. Yeo's research on deficit model and science commication discussed by "Communicating Science: Battling Perceptions of a Knowledge Gap," University of Wisconsin Mad Science, March 23, 2016.
"In Politics, Caricatures Can Become Facts, and That is Bad for Everyone," Sara K. Yeo (with Michael A. Cacciatore, Dietram A. Scheufele, Michael A. Xenos, Doo-Hun Choi, Dominique Brossard, Amy B. Becker, and Elizabeth A. Corley), London School of Economics Blog on American Politics and Policy, September 15, 2014.

Publications

"How Communication Contexts and Individual Traits Shape Information Seeking" (with Michael A. Xenos and Dietram A. Scheufele). The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 658, no. 1 (2015): 172-191.

Uses an experiment with a nationally representative sample of the U.S. population to examine how political partisans consume and process media reports about nanotechnology—a scientific issue that is unfamiliar to most Americans. Results provide insights into patterns of media use and how media use differs among people with varying political ideologies.

"Partisan Amplification of Risk: American Perceptions of Nuclear Energy Risk in the Wake of the Fukushima Daiichi Disaster" (with Michael Cacciatore, Dominique Brossard, Dietram A. Scheufele, Kristin Runge, Leona Y. Su, Jiyoun Kim, Michael Xenos, and Elizabeth A. Corley). Energy Policy 67 (2014): 727-736.

Examines risk perceptions toward nuclear power before and after the Fukushima Daiichi disaster using nationally representative survey samples of American adults. We find that ideological groups respond very differently to the events in Japan. In particular, risk perceptions among conservatives in our sample decreased following the incident. Moreover, we find media use exacerbates these effects

"The Changing Nature of Scientist-Media Interactions: A Cross-National Analysis" (with Dominique Brossard), in The Oxford Handbook on the Science of Science Communication, edited by Kathleen Hall Jamieson, Dan Kahan, and Dietram A. Scheufele (Oxford University Press, 2017), 261–272.

Examines research relevant to reciprocal interactions between scientists and media and synthesizes studies on factors that influence the willingness and ability of scientists to engage with broad audiences.