The purpose of this dissertation is to examine the rhetorical strategies used by experts to communicate prenatal exposure to chemical pollution. This dissertation uses a case study approach to analyze how prenatal exposure to chemical pollutants is communicated to public audiences by non-traditional scientific experts through an examination of specific reports and briefings. The non-traditional experts that are the subject of this dissertation are the Environmental Working Group, an environmental activist group, and the American Chemistry Council, an industry lobby group. These non-traditional scientific experts use a variety of rhetorical strategies to communicate meaning about exposure data. Following Ulrich Beck, risk is understood to be both socially constructed through discursive practices as well as materially real through its physical impacts. By analyzing the discursive and material representations of risk found in the EWG and ACC's reports through a variety of rhetorical strategies, this dissertation represents an initial attempt by a rhetorician to understand biomonitoring data as persuasive elements in public policies related to environmental and regulatory issues.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. January 2011. Major: Rhetoric and Scientific and Technical Communication. Advisor: Mary Lay Schuster. 1 computer file (PDF); vii, 301 pages, appendices A-K.
VanNorman, Maggie Lynn.
Body burden in umbilical cord blood: a rhetorical analysis of how experts communicate risk to public audiences..
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