Gene Drives in the U.K., U.S., and Australian Press (2015–2019): How a New Focus on Responsibility Is Shaping Science Communication

A. Stelmach, B. Nerlich and S. Hartley,  Science Communication,  10755470211072245. 2022.

Gene drive is a controversial biotechnology for pest control. Despite a commitment from gene drive researchers to responsibility and the key role of the media in debates about science and technology, little research has been conducted on media reporting of gene drive. We employ metaphor and discourse analysis to explore how responsibility is reflected in the coverage of this technology in the U.S., U.K., and Australian press. The findings reveal a rhetorical strategy of trust-building by evoking the moral attributes of gene drive researchers. We discuss the implications of these findings for the communication of new technologies.


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