Date of Award


Document Type


Terms of Use

© 2016 Kate Crowley. All rights reserved. This work is freely available courtesy of the author. It may only be used for non-commercial, educational, and research purposes. For all other uses, including reproduction and distribution, please contact the copyright holder.

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Educational Studies Department, Biology Department

First Advisor

Philip Kudish

Second Advisor

Diane Downer Anderson


Most scientists believe GMOs are safe for human consumption, but a majority of the American public remains unconvinced. I argue that this lack of trust stems from scientists' outdated approach to science communication, namely the deficit model. Instead of seeing the public as empty vessels waiting to be filled with scientific knowledge, the scientific community must recognize that many strongly held beliefs about science issues are socially situated. Only through genuine attempts at participatory, two-way conversations with the public can the scientific community come to understand how public values influence GMO acceptance. While these actions will necessitate a redefining of the GMO scientific community and are sure to be difficult and intimidating, they are vital for ensuring GMOs will be available as a tool to address the needs of a growing global population and a changing climate.