Three University of Reading (UK) researchers offered that perspective after they analyzed how experts and non-experts approach debates about crop and food genetic modification (GM).

Their analysis appeared in a 2004 issue of Discourse and Society that we added recently to the ACDC collection.

Based on in-depth interviews with scientists, non-experts and other stakeholders, authors observed that people frame the subject in various ways they may find valid, such as:

•Morally (Is it justifiable?)
•Economically (What does it cost?)
•Socially (Who benefits?)
•Politically (Who controls it?)
•Aesthetically (Does it make food more pleasing to the senses?)
•Scientifically (Is it safe?)

"Conversely, scientists tend to see only the frame of empirical objectivity as legitimate. Other frames are viewed as irrelevant, or even dangerously anti-science..."

Authors found that GM scientists tended to see communication "very much as the transfer of information, and the main concern was with how their technically complicated understanding of GM could be simplified to become accessible to the scientifically uneducated."

Read the abstract here.