Thesis subject

The politicization of life science issues

Many life science issues have become increasingly politicized in the past decades. Issues such as climate change and sustainability are in the center of political debate and extensively discussed by media and citizens as well. This thesis topic seeks to understand aspects of this politicization, by focusing on the way issues are discussed in various realms, and with what consequences for public opinion.

Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

  • The way different types of media cover life science issues in terms of framing and tone;
  • The effects of media coverage of life science issues on political debates and decision making;
  • The presence of mis- and disinformation in climate change and vaccination debates in traditional and on social media;
  • The impact of different frames on people’s attitudes and opinions.

Research methods to studies these topics include (automated and manual) content analyses, (online) experiments, (longitudinal) surveys and focus groups.

More information about this topic: prof. dr. Rens Vliegenhart.