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Jean Goodwin

SAS Institute Distinguished Professor of Rhetoric & Technical Communication


Winston Hall 229


As a member of the Leadership in Public Science cluster, my goal is to help NC State change its culture and build the support infrastructure needed for public engagement to become an ordinary aspect of many researchers’ careers. My own research lies in the area of science communication in controversial contexts, critical thinking about modeling, and ‘big data’ methods for rhetorical analysis.


I am interested in helping interdisciplinary teams plan for integrating research-based public engagement at every stage of their projects, starting from the very beginning, and helping them build their capacity to carry out those plans. Please don’t ask me or any other engagement researcher to do your engagement for you.


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Date: 10/01/22 - 9/30/24
Amount: $21,684.00
Funding Agencies: National Science Foundation (NSF)

Scientists and engineers not only contribute to knowledge; their work has "broader impacts" on the world, in the form of improved science education, science communication, technology transfer and diversification of science. The ARIS Broader Impacts Toolkit is a set of web-based resources to help scientists and engineers plan their broader impacts programs. This project aims both to share the Toolkit across NC State and to assess its effectiveness.

Date: 09/01/18 - 8/31/24
Amount: $2,997,865.00
Funding Agencies: National Science Foundation (NSF)

Challenges at the FEW nexus are not simply technological, but convergent in the sense of spanning technical, ecological, social, political, and ethical issues. The field of biotechnology is evolving rapidly - and with it, the potential for creating a diverse array of powerful future products that could intentionally and unintentionally impact FEW systems. Depending on what products are developed and how those products are deployed, biotechnology could have a positive or negative impact on all 3 of these systems. Wise decisions will require leaders who can integrate knowledge from engineering, design, natural sciences, and social sciences. We will train STEM graduate students to respond to these challenges by conducting convergent research aimed at development, and assessment of biotechnologies to improve services provided by FEW systems. We will train our students to engage with non-scientists to elevate societal discourse about biotechnology. We will recruit 3 cohorts with emphasis on students who have shown a passion for crossing between natural and social sciences. We will work with the NCSU Initiative for Maximizing Student Diversity in recruiting students from underrepresented minority groups. Cohorts will have 6 students who will take a minor in Genetic Engineering and Society (GES). They will receive PhDs in established graduate programs such as Plant Biol, Chem & Biomol Engr, Econ, Public Adm, Entomol, Plant Path, Communication, Rhetoric & Digital Media, Forestry & Environ Res, Crop & Soil Sci, and Genetics. For students in natural science PhD programs, at least 1 thesis committee member will be from a social sciences program and vice versa for students in social sciences. For all students, at least 1 thesis chapter will demonstrate scholarship across natural and social sciences. The disciplinary breadth of our proposed NRT is very broad, so we will focus student projects narrowly on a specific biotechnology product that impact FEW systems. When they first arrive at NCSU, cohorts will participate in a training program off campus where they will be exposed to the issues they will address. Students will carry out a group project in the focus area of the cohort to continue team development. To fulfill the GES minor, students will take 3 specially designed courses: Plant Genetics & Physiology, Science Communication & Engagement, Policy & Systems Modeling. There are no NRT-eligible institutions partnering on this project outside of an evaluation role.

Date: 10/01/21 - 9/30/22
Amount: $50,000.00
Funding Agencies: Sandia National Laboratories

Foreign disinformation campaigns have emerged as a significant threat to the security of the United States and the integrity of our electoral system. The communication subfield of rhetoric has over two millennia catalogued numerous persuasive techniques, including techniques that can be used with malicious intent. This pilot project aims to lay the groundwork for automated detection of rhetorical devices characteristic of disinformation. The NC State team will assist in identifying target rhetorical techniques and developing and testing a procedure for human identification of those techniques in a corpus of natural language discourse constructed by the larger project team. The work product of the NC State will be used to support machine learning leading to automated detection.

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