Bruce V. Lewenstein



Dr. Bruce V. Lewenstein is a widely-known authority on public communication of science and technology–how science and technology are reported to the public and how the public understands controversial scientific issues and "emerging technologies" such as biotechnology and nanotechnology. Trained as a historian of science, he often uses historical case studies in his research. He has also done extensive work evaluating "citizen science" outreach projects, in which citizens fully participate in the scientific process by gathering, entering, and sometimes analyzing scientific data. In recent years, he has helped connect the "public communication" field with the "learning sciences" field, especially around issues of public engagement in science. He works frequently with scientists learning more about public communication of science and technology.

Research Focus

I work primarily on the history of public communication of science, with excursions into other areas of science communication (such as informal science education). In general, I try to document the ways that public communication of science is fundamental to the process of producing reliable knowledge about the natural world.

Since the mid-1990s, I have spent some time as an evaluator of informal science education projects, especially in areas of “citizen science.”

During the 2000s, I spent some time exploring social and ethical issues associated with emerging technologies such as genomics and nanotechnology.


  • "An Instrument for Assessing Scientists' Written Skills in Public Communication of Science," (with A. Baram-Tsabari). Science Communication, 2013. 35(1), 56-85. doi:10.1177/1075547012440634
  • "Establishing a climate change information source addressing local aspects of a global issue: A case study in New York State," (with E. L. Chambliss).  JCOM: Journal of Science Communication, 2012. 12(3) 7 pp., online only at

  • "Finding Kuhn, Finding Myself." Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences, 2012. 42(5), 538-541. doi: 10.1525/hsns.2012.42.5.538

  • "Wiki page: Public Engagement in Science," Bruce V. Lewenstein (initiator, 2012- ) from

  • "Public Participation in Scientific Research: A Framework for Intentional Design. Ecology and Society," (with J. L. Shirk, H. Ballard, C. Wilderman, T. Phillips, A. Wiggins, R. Jordan, E. McCallie, M. Minarchek, M. Krasny, and R. Bonney). Ecology and Society, 2012. 17(2), 29-48. doi: 10.5751/ES-04705-170229

  • "A Growth Medium for the Message: Online Science Journalism Affordances for Exploring Public Discourse of Science and Ethics," (with A. Baram-Tsabari & E. Laslo).  Science Communication, 2011. 12:847-870.
  • "Crafting Museum Experiences in Light of Research on Learning: Implications of the National Research Council's report on information science education," (with A. Shouse, P. Bell & M. Feder). Curator, 2010. 53:137-154.
  • "Open Access Publishing, Article Downloads and Citations: Randomised Controlled Trial," (with P. Davis, D.H. Simon, J. Booth & M. Connolly.  British Medical Journal, 2008. 337:343-345.
  • "Religiosity as a Perceptual Filter: Examining the Processes of Opinion Formation about Nanotechnology," (with D. Brossard, D.A.Scheufele, & E. Kim).  Public Understanding of Science. doi:10/1177/0963662507087304.
  • "Science, The Public, and Power in Nanotechnology," in Nanotechnology: Ethics and Society. Debra Bennett-Woods (ed).  Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 2008, pp. 237-239.
  • "Where Do Books Fit in the Information Age?," in Practising Science Communication in the Information Age: Theorising Professional Practices.  Richard Holliman, Jeff Thomas, Sam Smidt, Einleen Scanlon, and Elizabeth Whitelegg (eds.).  Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2008, pp. 252-165.