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Risk, Science, Health and the Media

The concept of 'risk' poses challenges for how we think about the media's role in contemporary society. It raises issues about power, inequality, expertise, communication and uncertainty. It also prompts debates about 'Risk Society' and scientific citizenship.

This research group examines the whole circuit of communication addressing questions such as: How is risk, science, technology and health reporting 'produced' (by sources and journalists)? How are concerns represented in the media (from news reporting to science fiction)? How is risk interpreted/incorporated (by media audiences, policy makers, and 'publics')?

Funded Research

This research group has been involved in over M£1 of funded research. Major project topics include genomics, representations of emerging technologies, debates around stem cell research, the representation of women in science and the operation of science PR.

Funding bodies include the ESRC, the Wellcome Trust, UKRC and the Department of Health. Funded Projects

We have also done extensive work on the role of the media in social issues such as: sexual violence, nuclear accidents, terrorism and war, children and traumatic news events. In addition we have developed cross-disciplinary initiatives such as the Coma and Disorders of Consciousness Research Centre.

Most Recent

Dying with reduced agency: people, places, principles and policies (GW4 network grant, June-November, 2014)

Improving allied health professional communication and practice  (ESRC Acceleration Award, due to start July 2014)

Understanding and optimising health-related press releases as complex public health interventions (led by Psychology, 2014 – 2016)

Vegetative and minimally conscious states: Creating a web resource for families of severely brain injured patients (ESRC Knowledge Exchange Award, and DIPEx charity) (2013-14)

PhD students studying risk

A lively group of PhD students are developing studies in a wide range of related areas including projects on ‘Female Genital Mutilation’, ‘Media reporting of AIDS’, ‘The debate about genetically modified crops in the UK', ‘TV drama about human cloning' and ‘Radio discourse about hybrid embryos’.

MSc in Science, Media and Communication

We contribute to the MSc in Science, Media and Communication - a collaboration between us, the Cardiff School of Social Sciences, and Techniquest. 


Members of the group have produced many publications across a range of themes and subjects, A full listing can be found here.

Links with other research groups

Many of our research projects involve interdisciplinary collaborations with other Schools at Cardiff and members of the ’Risk' group also contribute to research within JOMEC focusing on ‘Mediatized conflict’, ‘Journalism studies’ and ‘Race, representation and cultural identity’.

International collaboration

We also have strong links with colleagues both nationally and internationally and the School attracts Visiting Fellows from all over the world.