—George Hayhoe, Director of the MS in Technical Communication Management program, Mercer University
“This book is exceptionally well written. Dr. Boiarsky has organized the book beautifully. Her analyses of the documents are fascinating and the cases she presents are compelling.”
—Katherine E. Rowan, Director of Science Communication, George Mason University
"If technical experts would read this book and apply its principles, they could prevent future disasters and save lives."
—Tim Ward, Huffington Post
Effective communication can help prevent or minimize damage from environmental disasters. In Risk Communication and Miscommunication, Carolyn Boiarsky teaches students, technical writers, public affairs officers, engineers, scientists, and governmental officials the writing and communication skills necessary for dealing with environmental and technological problems that could lead to major crises.
Drawing from research in rhetoric, linguistics, technical communication, educational psychology, and web design, Boiarsky provides a new way to look at risk communication. She shows how failing to consider the readers’ needs and the rhetorical context in which a document is read can be catastrophic and how anticipating those needs can enhance effectiveness and prevent disaster. She examines the communications and miscommunications of original e-mails, memos, and presentations about various environmental disasters, including the Columbia space shuttle breakup and the BP/Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion, and successes, such as the Enbridge pipeline expansion and the opening of the Mississippi Spillway, offering recommendations for effective communication.
Taking into account the growing need to communicate complex and often controversial issues across vast geographic and cultural spaces with an ever-expanding array of electronic media, Risk Communication and Miscommunication provides strategies for clear communication of data, ideas, and procedures to varied audiences to prevent or minimize damage from environmental incidents.