College of Humanities and Social Sciences
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