What’s New!

New publication in Risk Analysis

New publication in Conservation Biology

Josephine Martell  successfully defends her “A exam” and advances to candidacy in the PhD program

  • October 1, 2020: Congratulations, Josephine!

New publication in Human Dimensions of Wildlife






RCRG launches the first Risk Communication Forum

  • September 30, 2020: The RCRG officially launched the first online Risk Communication Forum.
  • The forum is currently held monthly and seeks to bring together our dispersed academic community of risk communication friends and colleagues.
  • If you have any questions or would like to become a forum member, please contact Dominic Balog-Way (db729@cornell.edu).
  • We also created a new tab to mange the forum.

Goals of the Risk Communication Forum



New publication in Drug Safety

New publication in New Media & Society



Cat Lambert successfully defends her “A exam” and advances to candidacy in the PhD program

  • June 2020: Congratulations, Cat!

Jason Holley completes his dissertation and passes his “B exam”

  • June 2020: Congratulations, Dr. Holley!

NYC mayor appoints McComas to climate change panel

Reunion panel discusses value of ‘One Health’ approach

  • June 2020: Katherine McComas joined fellow Cornell faculty in discussing ‘One Health’ and its relevance for understanding and responding to Covid-19. You can watch the full recording here.

Student award and paper acceptance at AEJMC 2020

  • May 2020: Big congratulations to Cat Lambert, whose paper “Beneath our feet: Risk, dread, and the future in coverage of enhanced geothermal energy” has been accepted for presentation at this year’s (virtual) AEJMC conference and was awarded the ComSHER (Communicating Science, Health, Environment, and Risk) Division’s 2nd Place Top Student Paper.

The “pub mug” tradition continues with a nice surprise during the May 22 RCRG meeting!

New publication on COVID-19 in Journal of Risk Research

New grant awarded

  • April 2020: Congratulations to Cat Lambert on her recent Einaudi International Research Travel Grant award to support her work on studying public engagement and risk communication related to the development of enhanced geothermal energy in Finland and the U.K.!

Leadership through communication: Navigating the COVID-19 crisis

  • March 2020: Katherine McComas participated in an eCornell webinar focusing on crisis communication and crisis management. You can watch the webinar here.

March 20, 2020

RCRG starts new tradition, the “pub mug” to celebrate a member’s publication

  • Congratulations, Cat, on your new article in Environmental Communication!

New publication in Conservation Biology

New publication in Environmental CommunicationScreenshot of the first page of the article "Earthquake Country"

New publication in Therapeutic Innovation and Regulatory Science


Grant awarded by Cornell Atkinson Center for Sustainability

  • December, 2019: Josephine Martell won a grant from the Atkinson Sustainable Biodiversity Fund to fund part of her research to test, through a national survey, which biodiversity and conservation frames are most successful at persuading the public on conservation issues in the realms of policy, advocacy, fundraising, and personal behavior change.

Special Event on Climate Change at the National Press Club

  • December, 2019: Dominic Balog-Way and co-host Sweta Chakraborty organized a special event at the historic National Press Club, Washington DC. The event was titled: Science Reporting in a Changing Climate: How Can We Do Better? Panellists included current and former journalists from The New York Times and CNN, as well as senior academics. Panellists presented their views on the title question and then debated opportunities and challenges for improving science journalism, risk communication, and policymaking in the 21st Century. The panel was followed by a lively and open discussion that was not just limited to climate change, but encompassed other pertinent scientific, technological, and risk issues relating to science journalism in the current political climate.

Clockwise from top-right: Dominic Balog-Way (Cornell University), Hank Jenkins-Smith (University of Oklahoma), Nick Pidgeon (Cardiff University), Kendra Pierre-Louis (The New York Times), Frank Sesno (George Washington University), and Sweta Chakraborty (Institute of Science and Global Policy).

New publication in Science Communication

New publication in the Journal of Risk Research

New research collaboration with the Environmental Defense Fund

  • August 2019: New Research Collaboration with the Environmental Defense Fund, titled: Assessing the Influence of Coastal Risk Perceptions on Responses to Climate Change

Source: EDF

With nearly 42% of the population, U.S. coastal areas could experience cumulative climate-driven damages as high as $3.6 trillion by 2100, compared to $820 billion where cost-effective adaptation measures are implemented. Although some adaptation measures must be implemented by government entities (such as barrier island restoration or beach nourishment), many others measures will be decided, funded and implemented by individuals (such as home elevation, relocation, and shoreline protection). Understanding the potential drivers to taking action in response to these challenges is this study’s central focus. Specifically, it investigates the influence of risk perceptions related to climate change on intentions to take individual action in response to coastal challenges.

Investigators: Natalie Peyronnin Snider, Science Policy Director at EDF working on coastal resilience and adaptation; Katherine McComas, Professor of Communication, Cornell, and Jason Holley, PhD candidate, Dept. of Communication, Cornell.

Grant award by Cornell Atkinson Center for Sustainability

Despite successful efforts to remove lead from gasoline, paint, household products and drinking water, it persists in hunting ammunition and continues to harm the humans, bald eagles and other omnivores who ingest it when consuming game meat, typically venison. Evidence suggests there is little awareness among hunters or other consumers that venison may be contaminated by lead particles. Researchers will test messages with hunters and nonhunters via short videos that highlight the risks of lead ammunition to wildlife and human health, and describe non-lead alternatives.

Investigators: Krysten Schuler, population medicine and diagnostic sciences; Katherine McComas, communication; Elizabeth Bunting, population medicine and diagnostic sciences; Brenda Hanley, population medicine and diagnostic sciences.