Emma Holmes - Host

Emma Holmes is an energetic Master of Ceremonies and event organiser. With her bubbly attitude, quick wit and her ability to get the audience moving, she is a popular pick for both fun and serious events. Each decade of her life she has (mostly unwillingly) moved to a new country. This, coupled with a tendency to speak before thinking, has lead to many hilarious situations. As a performer she spends most of her time talking about these moments and pretending that nothing like that will ever happen again.

She is a professional storyteller, comedian and entertainment entrepreneur. As the founder of EEH Productions, an entertainment and training company, she is kept busy with monthly theatre productions and soft-skills training workshops. As well as an array of hosting jobs. EEH Productions is the company responsible for the sudden growth of alternative entertainment events in Wageningen. These include the Wageningen Storytelling Nights, Wageningen Comedy Club and Slamtastic Poetry Slam.

In her spare time Emma loves to write, produce videos, cycle and eat. She also has a fabulous collection of eclectic and colourful socks.

Hedwig te Molder - Wageningen University & Research

Hedwig te Molder is professor Science and Technology Communication at the Strategic Communication group (Section Communication, Philosophy and Technology) at Wageningen University. Using discursive psychology and conversation analysis, she focuses on how people communicate issues of science and technology in their everyday lives, and the role of experts and expertise in a ‘post-truth era’. She published more than 90 scientific articles and book chapters. In 2007, she received the Distinguished Book Award from the American Sociological Association for Conversation and Cognition (Cambridge University Press, with Jonathan Potter). In 2009, she was a Visiting Scholar at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), and in 2015 a Visiting Professor at the University of Vienna (Austria). From April-July 2017, she was Fulbright Senior Scholar at Rutgers University, School of Communication and Information, New York Area, USA. She chairs the social ethical committee of the COGEM, the scientific advisory board for the Dutch government on genetic modification.

Talk - Dialogue in the post-truth era: shifting from (only) facts to (also) values

Science is under attack, so it seems. Climate-change sceptics raise their voice on the internet, nutritionists are accused of being the lackeys of industry and young parents increasingly fail to respond to childhood vaccination campaigns. I will argue that these ‘science-society’ conflicts should not be understood as a collision between the world of scientific truth on the one hand, and that of lay concern on the other. Nor should the key question be formulated as how to convince ‘people who persist in believing things that just aren’t true’.

What is needed is a shift from debate to dialogue. A dialogue in which not only facts but, first and foremost, moralities are explored and discussed. The problem is that these moral dimensions are difficult to detect. Moralities mainly exist as self-evident rules that people unthinkingly orient to and are so bound up with epistemic work that they are difficult to recognize. Using conversation analysis and discursive psychology I will show how participants themselves, in the course of their daily interactions, negotiate their moral identity. Paradoxically, scientific facts are often resisted so as to not appear naive. Anti-vaccination parents, for example, take care to not ‘blindly trust’ government or science advice, as this is treated as lazy rather than rational behaviour.

These and other concealed moralities should be articulated in order to allow for real dialogue. Using topical examples from conversations about nutrition, vaccination and ADHD, I will argue that the dialogue should (also) be on who we want to be rather than (only) about what we believe to be true.

Cees Leeuwis - Wageningen University & Research

Cees Leeuwis is professor of Knowledge, Technology and Innovation at Wageningen University, and coordinator of the Section Communication, Philosophy and Technology. He studies processes of socio-technical innovation and transformation in networks, collaboration between different disciplines, research for development policy, the functioning of innovation support systems and the role of innovation platforms, communication, extension and brokers therein. Eventually, these efforts are geared towards making processes of technical and social innovation more responsible, responsive and democratic. He has published widely about these themes in the context of societal domains such as sustainable agriculture, natural resources management, poverty related diseases and inclusive value chains.

Talk - Why dialogue is so difficult!

In our polarised society, we regularly see people call for a better dialogue between people with different interests and opinions. However, in actual practice a true dialogue is very hard to achieve. Building on ‘The Art of Dialogue’ by Prof. Noelle Aarts, this presentation will point to several mechanisms and processes that prevent people from having an open conversation.

Marie Garnier - Wageningen University & Research

Marie Garnier is a PhD candidate and lecturer at the Strategic Communication group, at Wageningen University and Research. Her research focuses on the role, nature and power of news media in public debate and contestation in democratic societies. Her case of study is a longitudinal, in-depth framing analysis of newspaper coverage about chicken meat production in the UK. Marie has a BSc. in Economics from the Universidad de Costa Rica, and a MSc. in Politics and Communication at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Interactive session - Dialogic deliberation: Strenghtening public reason through dialogue

This interactive session is an exercise in dialogic deliberation about a potentially conflictive topic. As explained by Kim and Kim (2008), the paradox of deliberative democracy is that the preconditions for deliberations are not given, but rather must be produced through deliberation itself. Building on this idea of dialogic deliberation, we want to encourage you to think together, to enhance the public mind and public reason, and come up with shared values that may guide collective decision-making. This dialogue will provide us with the opportunity to develop our understanding not just of others and their experiences, but also of our selves. This mutual understanding can then enhance the quality of opinions and the reasonableness of arguments when making collective decisions. However, in order to jump-start this process of building a sense of community, we want to shake things up first, by challenging our notions of differences and commonalities. Hopefully, rethinking our ideas of who ‘we’ are, will provide for a much more fertile ground for dialogue.

Lisa Vandeberg - Radboud University Nijmegen

Lisa Vandeberg is an Assistant Professor of Communication and Information Studies at the Radboud University in Nijmegen. She obtained her PhD in Cognitive Psychology (Erasmus University Rotterdam), after which she started working in the area of persuasive communication as a Post-Doc (University of Amsterdam) and Assistant Professor (UvA, RU). Her research lies at the intersection of persuasive communication and cognitive language psychology and deals with how people (implicitly) process, store and evaluate mediated messages, and how this may affect their behavior. Her current interest is focused on whether and how linguistic messages might prove effective in reducing vaccine hesitancy.

Talk - Building bridges. How to communicate about vaccination?

In the current vaccination debate, people with pro- and antivaccination messages seem to speak different languages. Vaccination critical messages often consist of personal, specific, appealing narratives on the alleged (but not scientifically supported) disadvantages of vaccination. Messages from the government and health authorities, on the other hand, usually contain formal, general, statistical information about the benefits of vaccination. This disconnect is alarming; people with different viewpoints seem to get stuck in “echo chambers” in which their existing beliefs are reinforced rather than challenged, while vaccination rates decrease and the societal risk increases. How can we bridge this communication gap and facilitate dialogue? In this talk, I will discuss some ideas we have about which communication forms and content have the potential of positively impacting vaccination beliefs.

Rico Lie - Wageningen University and Research

Rico Lie (PhD 2000, Catholic University of Brussels) is a social anthropologist working at the research group Knowledge, Technology and Innovation, Wageningen University & Research (WUR), The Netherlands. He previously worked at the University of Brussels in Belgium and the Universities of Nijmegen and Leiden in The Netherlands. At WUR he is an assistant professor in international communication with an interest in the areas of communication for development and intercultural learning.

Talk - Negotiating gender identities? You are either a man or a woman!

People say that our stereotypical perceptions of men and women have changed. But did they really? In 1979 Erving Goffman published his famous Gender Advertisements, in which he constructed rules about how men and women are portrayed in visual images used in advertisements. Are these, by now classic rules after 40 years of emancipation still valid? Do they still make sense or have things indeed changed? This session will start with exploring the current significance of Goffman’s classic gender rules and then shift its focus towards current debates on ‘superdiversity’. Taking a superdiverse perspective means to defy an essentialist understanding of diversity. It acknowledges, by looking at developments in the past two decades, that practices, contexts and social realities can no longer be understood using single categories like religion, nationality or ethnicity. Identities, practices and sociocultural realities have become increasingly diverse and complex. During the session we will review in what way media still display an essentialist image of gender identities in line with Goffman’s theory and we will raise the question to what extent media need to represent the complexity of our superdiverse social practices and identities.

Nicoline de Heus - Breda University of Applied Sciences

Nicoline de Heus is a lecturer, researcher and supervisor at the master Imagineering and the academic bachelors in both Tourism and Leisure at Breda University of Applied Sciences. Her field of expertise is cross cultural understanding and intercultural collaboration. Currently, she is performing a PhD research at Tilburg University on the role of superdiversity in the international classroom at higher education.

Talk - Negotiating gender identities? You are either a man or a woman!

People say that our stereotypical perceptions of men and women have changed. But did they really? In 1979 Erving Goffman published his famous Gender Advertisements, in which he constructed rules about how men and women are portrayed in visual images used in advertisements. Are these, by now classic rules after 40 years of emancipation still valid? Do they still make sense or have things indeed changed? This session will start with exploring the current significance of Goffman’s classic gender rules and then shift its focus towards current debates on ‘superdiversity’. Taking a superdiverse perspective means to defy an essentialist understanding of diversity. It acknowledges, by looking at developments in the past two decades, that practices, contexts and social realities can no longer be understood using single categories like religion, nationality or ethnicity. Identities, practices and sociocultural realities have become increasingly diverse and complex. During the session we will review in what way media still display an essentialist image of gender identities in line with Goffman’s theory and we will raise the question to what extent media need to represent the complexity of our superdiverse social practices and identities.

Rens Vliegenthart - Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR), University of Amsterdam

Rens Vliegenthart is a full professor of Media and Society at the Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR), University of Amsterdam. He is also the scientific director of ASCoR. Rens received his PhD in Social Sciences from the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam in 2007 (cum laude) and held visiting positions at the University of California, Irvine, and the University of Southern Denmark.

His research focuses on the analyses of media content and effects, both on citizens and public opinion, as well as on politicians and political decision making. Rens specializes in (automated) content analysis and time series analysis. His research is published in a wide range of journals in communication science, political science, and sociology, and is funded by grants from the Dutch science foundation (e.g. VENI, VIDI, NWA).

Talk - Controversy in political communication: what role do social media play?

Politicians increasingly use online and social media to communicate with voters directly, without the interference of journalists. In doing so, they frequently create controversy use conflict framing (e.g., criticizing other politicians, ideas or institutions). This lecture addresses the type of controversies that appear, and the consequences this type of communication has on the relationship between politicians and voters. It demonstrates both potential positive effects (e.g. increasing political engagement), as well as negative ones, such as political polarization.

Kees and Luca van Loenen - Centrum voor Dialoog

Kees and Luca van Loenen (father and son) are both training actors involved with Dialogue training at Wageningen University.

 

Interactive session - Dialoog in de Praktijk

The purpose of this 'Day of Communication' is to acquaint the participants with several facets of communication showing the problems encountered in communication and looking for solutions on how to improve them. The method for doing so will be interactive, which itself is an essential component of good communication.

Check out the programme of the day!