The Center for Media Engagement welcomes Dr. Lucy Atkinson and Dr. Lee Ann Kahlor to the team! Both join our Science Communication program, which researches the intersection of science, media, and society.
Atkinson is an associate professor in the Stan Richards School of Advertising & PR in the Moody College of Communication at The University of Texas at Austin. Her research looks at communication in the context of sustainability and the environment. She focuses on the ways message components (like visual elements, argument frames, source factors) in environmental communication campaigns influence environmental attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors. She has received research funding from the Department of Energy, the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology, the Waterhouse Family Institute for the Study of Communication and Society, and the Arthur W. Page Center at Penn State. Atkinson’s work has appeared in top-ranked flagship journals, like the Journal of Advertising, International Journal of Communication, Environmental Communication and Science Communication. Outside of academia, her work has been covered in international and national news media, including the Guardian (UK) newspaper, and National Public Radio’s Weekend Edition and On Point with Tom Ashbrook.
Kahlor is an associate professor in the Stan Richards School of Advertising & PR in the Moody College of Communication at The University of Texas at Austin. Her primary research interest is in health and environmental risk communication with an emphasis on information seeking and processing. She has explored information behaviors in contexts ranging from cancer to nanotechnology to carbon capture and storage. A secondary interest is in cultural and racial norms related to health behaviors and message processing. She has published more than 50 peer-reviewed research articles, book chapters, and white papers, and has co-edited two books. Her work has appeared in myriad journals including Health Communication, Human Communication Research, Science Communication, Mass Communication and Society, Communication Theory, Environment and Behavior, and Indoor and Built Environment. Dr. Kahlor also has a robust funding portfolio; she is co-principal investigator on a $4.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation and has received additional funds from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the U.S. Department of Energy, and the oil and gas industry to fund her work in science communication.