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Ellis N. Brandt Professor of Public Relations, Michigan State University

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.


  • 2018–present
    Chair professor, Michigan State University