@Syracuse University News Tips
Syracuse University faculty members are available for interview on a variety of timely topics. Our faculty members provide insight that moves the story forward, and information that shines a new light on important research of interest to your audience. Here’s what they’re saying today:
United Nations calls for fossil fuels to be phased out by 2100 or risk irreversible damage to planet. The U.N. report was released on Sunday, and already there is response from Syracuse University faculty who are conducting research on global warming and the environmental effects. Biology Professor Doug Frank and Associate Professor Jason Fridley are monitoring the impact through the use of a unique climate garden, which uses a variety of flora that tell the story of global warming’s effects on the planet. Says Fridley, “The IPCC report is an important reminder that continued and probably extensive changes are ahead for the biosphere and our place in it. One need only look at past climate shifts–about 5 C cooler was all that was needed to change CNY to a glacial landscape–to appreciate the extent of ecological change over the next few decades.” According to Frank, “Findings of this report strengthen earlier conclusions from the IPCC that increases in atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations are from human activity, there is an ongoing rapid increase in the earth’s mean temperature and any delay in enacting meaningful measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions will only be more costly to society down the road.
Cell phones undermine polling industry: Voters go to the polls Tuesday to decide a host of local and statewide political races. Polling numbers are being reported prior to Election Day, but how accurate are these survey’s? In an age where a growing number of us do not own a landline phone, how can pollsters get an accurate assessment of voter sentiment? “Cellphones have completely undermined the telephone polling industry,” says Professor of Public Relations Guy Golan. “Today pollsters are struggling to produce representative samples using traditional random-digital-dialing to land lines. Most people under the age of 35 exclusively use cellphones. Caller ID technology generates very low response rates. In addition, federal regulation requires pollsters to hand dial all calls made to cellphones. The result is that telephone polling is less representative, more time consuming and expensive than ever before. Pollsters are quickly figuring out that their industry is in deep trouble. Read more on Guy Golan’s thoughts on polling here: https://news.syr.edu/qa-political-communication-expert-guy-golan-talks-about-polls-72763/.
Social media and elections: If landline phone calls won’t paint an accurate picture of the polls, perhaps social media will. Researchers at Syracuse University’s School of Information Studies (iSchool) are collecting, saving and assessing the tweets, hashtags, mentions and chat streams on Twitter, plus the posts, likes, shares and follower rates on Facebook in 36 gubernatorial races this year across the United States. They’re looking at what that social messaging reveals based on what people are saying about the candidates, what candidates and campaigns are saying about themselves and each other and how messages are shifting during the election cycle. Right now, the data-laden project “is just an experiment that’s big, fun, loose and messy, and that’s how a lot of research is,” explains associate professor Jenny Stromer-Galley, an information science expert in how people interact and communicate on the Internet and in political communication. However, assessments from the data is something she hopes “can answer some enduring social science questions about the differences in strategies that campaigns produce.” It’s also possible, the professor says, “that the tools that will come out of it will help put us in shape to do a pretty comprehensive analysis of the presidential election in 2016”—producing insights and information about messaging and communication tactics that can be very useful to, and highly valued by, political campaigns. Read more on the research project here: http://ischool.syr.edu/newsroom/research.aspx?recid=1717.
Syracuse University faculty are available for interviews over the phone or via our Newhouse Studios via LTN. Please contact Keith Kobland at 315-443-9038/415-8095 or firstname.lastname@example.org.