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Media Literacy

The Public’s Understanding of Research and the Role of Mass Media

Cheryl K. Olson, Sc. D. Lawrence A. Kutner, Ph.D. Center for Mental Health and Media, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA ABSTRACT: Electronic media provide opportunities to educate the public on science concepts and the nature of scientific inquiry. Scientific literacy is increasingly important to function in society. Mass media (especially television) are the public’s primary source of information on science and medical research. Developing effective media-based educational programs is more complex than it appears at first blush. This paper describes the need for sophisticated approaches to such programs and the evolution of a multifaceted project directed at both the general ...

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