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Brian Southwell

Brian Southwell

Adjunct Professor

Brian Southwell wears many hats, including those of a researcher, teacher, media professional, and community volunteer. At Duke, he has led various student-faculty cooperative projects related to energy consumption and taught a cross-listed course on public translation of social science through the Sanford School of Public Policy and the Center for Documentary Studies. Southwell also is Director of the Science in the Public Sphere Program in the Center for Communication Science at RTI International, an independent, nonprofit research institute, and holds faculty appointments at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In addition, Southwell hosts The Measure of Everyday Life, a weekly public radio show produced by WNCU for the Raleigh-Durham, NC, media market (along with a podcast that has been downloaded in more than 50 countries).

Previously, Dr. Southwell taught as a tenured professor at the University of Minnesota and has worked for nonprofit and government organizations. His research appears in numerous journal articles and books and has addressed issues such as campaign measurement and evaluation, the roles of social networks, lifespan development, and misinformation. In 2013, Johns Hopkins University Press released Dr. Southwell’s book, Social Networks and Popular Understanding of Science and Health, which has been widely reviewed, e.g., in Science, and recognized as an outstanding publication in 2015. He has served as senior editor for Health Communication and as editorial board member for various other journals.


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