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Matthew C. Nisbet    

Professor of Communication, American University

Matthew C. Nisbet, Ph.D. is Associate Professor in the School of Communication at American University, Washington, D.C. and writer of the Age of Engagement blog at Big Think.

As a social scientist, Nisbet studies strategic communication in policy-making and public affairs, focusing on debates over complex policy problems like energy and climate change. Nisbet holds a Ph.D. and M.S. in Communication from Cornell University and an AB in Government from Dartmouth College.

In other current projects, Nisbet is analyzing the role of strategic philanthropy in supporting actions to address climate change; evaluating sources of financial support for non-profit journalism; studying the impact of income inequality on public reservations about science and technology; and evaluating strategies for promoting thoughtful dialogue about science and religion.

He is the author of more than 35 journal articles and book chapters, and he serves on the editorial boards of the International Journal of Press/Politics and Science Communication. His scholarship has been cited more than 500 times in the peer-reviewed literature and in more than 150 books.

At American University, Nisbet co-led a team of faculty which founded the Doctor of Philosophy program in Communication, an interdisciplinary curriculum designed around the intersections of media, technology, and democracy. The program combines social scientific and humanistic approaches to the study of communication, analyzing the complex interactions among the news media, entertainment media, digital communications, nonprofit organizations, government, and business. Visit the program's web site for more information and to apply.

Nisbet's research on the climate change and energy debates is funded by the Nathan Cummings Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. He is also an inaugural member of the Google Science Communication Fellows program. A 2011 editorial at the journal Nature recommended Nisbet's research as "essential reading for anyone with a passing interest in the climate change debate."

At American University, Nisbet directs the Climate Shift Project, an initiative producing interdisciplinary research and independent media examining the climate change and energy debates. Climate Shift’s network of social scientists, scholars and professionals work with a diversity of organizations and agencies; train students, researchers and leaders; and convene forums and events that engage the Washington, D.C. community.

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Research at AUSOC: Matt Nisbet
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