College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Chris Clarke

Chris Clarke

Chris Clarke

Assistant Professor

health and environmental risk perception, communication

My research focuses on health and environmental risk communication. I study how people view contentious health and environmental issues; social-psychological factors that influence public opinion; how news media cover these topics; and why messages designed to engaging audiences on these topics succeed or fail. In the message effects area, I am especially interested in communicating scientific consensus in the context of risk issues that may be “settled” scientifically but remain socially contentious.

My areas of topical interest/expertise include energy development (i.e., unconventional oil and natural gas development via hydraulic fracturing - “fracking”); vaccine safety; and climate change, among others.

I have an inter-disciplinary background in communication, public health, and environmental policy, and I try to engage all of these fields in my scholarship.

** Copies of my publications, where available, can be found on my Google ScholarResearchGate, or profiles.

Selected Publications

Boudet, H., Clarke, C., Bugden, D., Maibach, E., Roser-Renouf, C., & Leiserowitz, A. (2014). “Fracking” controversy and communication: Using national survey data to understand public perceptions of hydraulic fracturing. Energy Policy, 65, 57-67

Clarke, C., Budgen, D., Hart, P.S., Stedman, R.C,. Jacquet, J.B., Evensen, D.T.N., & Boudet, H. (2016). How geographic distance and political ideology interact to influence public perception of unconventional oil/natural gas development. Energy Policy, 97, 301-309.

Clarke, C., Holton, A., McKeever, B., & Dixon, G. (2015). The influence of weight-of-evidence messages on (vaccine) attitudes: A sequential mediation model. Journal of Health Communication, 20, 1302-1309.

Clarke, C., Hart, P.S., Evensen, D.T., Boudet, H., Jacquet, J.B., Schuldt, J.P., & Stedman, R.C. (2015). Public opinion on energy development: The interplay of issue framing, top-of-mind associations, and political ideology. Energy Policy, 81, 131-140

van der Linden, S. L., Clarke, C. E., & Maibach, E. W. (2015). Highlighting consensus among medical scientists increases public support for vaccines: Evidence from a randomized experiment. BMC Public Health15, 1-5.


B.S., Rutgers University, 2005 - Health & Environmental Policy

M.S., Cornell University, 2007 - (Risk) Communication

Ph.D., Cornell University, 2012 - (Risk) Communication