John studies how views about decision-makers affect perceptions of new technologies with potential health or environmental impacts. This focus includes consideration of both mediated exposure through newspapers, television programs and web content, as well as face-to-face public engagement exercises (e.g., public meetings). His work emphasizes the need to look at both citizens’ perceptions of decision-makers and decision-makers’ perceptions of the public.
More generally, John explores the relationships between media use, public engagement and health and environmental risk perceptions. His research has touched on public perceptions of nanotechnology, biotechnology, and energy technologies (particularly nuclear and hydrogen and fuel cell technologies). He has also been involved in research into journalistic norms related to coverage of public engagement. His work has appeared in high-ranking journals including Science Communication, Public Understanding of Science and Risk Analysis, as well as a range of edited volumes. He has received funding from the National Science Foundation and the United States Department of Agriculture.
As an instructor, John focuses on community relations and civic engagement, crisis and risk communication, science communication, and media relations.
Prior to his Ph.D., John worked in the Policy and Communications division of Environment Canada on international environmental issues.