The Intersection

Best Of: Framing V: The Point!

originally published May 27, 2007 by Sheril R. Kirshenbaum

Anticlimactic perhaps, but then you knew my last post on Framing wouldn’t provide closure on the topic. Hubris would be an understatement if I claimed to have a panacea of answers. Instead, what follows are a few musings to wrap up ideas from Thursday based on my adventures across the science, policy, and pop culture worlds..

i-b143b8ba72f8340da3af284968b343fc-pointposter.jpgFraming’s not a one-size-fits-all concept. Furthermore, not everything ‘science’ need necessarily be ‘Framed’ – it’s entirely case specific. Big, immediate global concerns traversing disciplines and stakeholders are where we should seek a cross cultural strategy that appeals to the widest possible demographic. We must utilize a variety of different approaches that highlight our research and concerns – always shrouded in a broad scientific consensus.

Never underestimate the importance of interpersonal relationships. Trust is arguably the single most important factor. Don’t speak ‘down’ to your audience because Average Joe is a heck of a lot smarter than many scientists give him credit for. Along those lines, there’s no reason to over complicate an issue. If you’re clear and succinct, the right questions will follow.

What really matters is that we as a global society continue to care. I think that’s mainly what ‘Framing Science’ is about. It’s an interesting and important consideration of the way we tell our science stories to the broader world. That said, framing is a concept, not dogma. We debate it’s relevance mainly because as scientists we’re accustomed to dissecting ideas. Viva la discourse! No need to prove right or wrong.

And with little time left at The Intersection, a new direction next, but I do hope I’ve managed to level the Frame just a bit.


  1. #1 Dr. C
    August 27, 2008

    Excellent series Ms. Kirshenbaum. I will be assigning this as required reading for my communications course.

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