4 Principles to Guide Interactions: Assisting Communities Confronting Environmental Contamination

Martha Merson
Science Communication, Vol 39, Issue 1, pp. 125 - 136


Statistics for Action project partners developed resources to bridge the divide between environmental professionals and residents affected by environmental contamination. Miscommunication is frustrating and frequent. Four principles that guided one STEM educator are illustrated with examples from work with residents of Hattiesburg, Mississippi. These principles may be useful to others intending to increase understanding among community group members and environmental regulators or professionals. The principles are especially relevant when tensions due to racial differences, priorities for next steps, or power imbalances due to funding streams threaten to derail communication.