Chelsea Ratcliff is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication Studies at UGA. She uses social science research methods to address pressing questions in ComSHER (communicating science, health, environment, and risk), especially questions about conveying uncertain scientific evidence.
Current projects of the Communicating Uncertain Science to the Public (CUSP) Lab include examining social, ethical, and psychological consequences of approaches to communicating uncertainty in the contexts of COVID-19 and precision medicine/genomics. Dr. Ratcliff draws on prior professional experience in health journalism and marketing to inform her work. Her research has been published in Communication Research, Human Communication Research, Annals of the International Communication Association, Journal of Health Communication, Science Communication, Public Understanding of Science, Risk Analysis, Annals of Behavioral Medicine, and American Journal of Public Health.
You can learn more about Dr. Ratcliff's CUSP Lab here.
Dr. Ratcliff's areas of expertise include:
- News coverage of biomedical science
- Message effects
- Mass media health campaign design
- Communicating scientific uncertainty
- Psychological reactance & resistance to persuasion
- Ethical and social consequences of communication
PhD (Communication, University of Utah)
MA (Communication, University of Utah)
- Ratcliff, C. L. & Wicke, R. (2022). How the public evaluates media representations of uncertain science: An integrated explanatory framework. Public Understanding of Science. doi:10.1177/09636625221122960
- Ratcliff, C. L., Wicke, R., & Harvill, B. (2022). Communicating uncertainty to the public during the COVID-19 pandemic: A scoping review of the literature. Annals of the International Communication Association. doi:10.1080/23808985.2022.2085136
- Ratcliff, C. L. (2021). Communicating scientific uncertainty across the dissemination trajectory: A precision medicine case study. Science Communication. doi:10.1177/10755470211038335
- Ratcliff, C. L., Wong, B., Jensen, J. D., & Kaphingst, K. A. (2021). The impact of communicating uncertainty on public responses to precision medicine research. Annals of Behavioral Medicine. doi:10.1093/abm/kaab050
- Ratcliff, C. L., Krakow, M., Greenberg-Worisek, A., & Hesse, B. W. (2021). Digital health engagement in the US population: Insights from the 2018 Health Information National Trends Survey. American Journal of Public Health. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2021.306282
- Ratcliff, C. L. & Sun, Y. (2020). Overcoming resistance through narrative communication: Findings from a meta-analytic review. Human Communication Research. doi:10.1093/hcr/hqz017
- Ratcliff, C. L. (2019). Characterizing reactance in communication research: A review of conceptual and operational approaches. Communication Research. doi:10.1177/0093650219872126
- Ratcliff, C. L., Jensen, J. D., Scherr, C. L., Krakow, M., & Crossley, K. (2019). Loss/gain framing, dose, and reactance: A message experiment. Risk Analysis. doi:10.1111/risa.13379
- Ratcliff, C. L., Kaphingst, K. A., & Jensen, J. D. (2018). When personal feels invasive: Foreseeing challenges in precision medicine communication. Journal of Health Communication. doi:10.1080/10810730.2017.1417514
- Scoping review on COVID-19 uncertainty communication published with students Rebekah Wicke and Blue Harvill in the Annals of the ICA.
- Study of how public audiences evaluate media representations of uncertain science with graduate student Rebekah Wicke published in Public Understanding of Science.
- Awarded a top faculty paper award with MA student Rebekah Wicke from the Communicating Science, Health, Environment & Risk (comSHER) division of the Association for Education in Journalism & Mass Communication, for the paper "How Lay Audiences Evaluate Scientific Uncertainty Disclosure: The Moderating Roles of Source and Preference for Communication of Uncertainty."
- Research featured in an editorial from Annals of Behavioral Medicine about the importance of examining communication of uncertainty in precision medicine.