Shupei Yuan

Associate Professor, Public Relations and Science Communication

Shupei Yuan, Ph.D., studies the role of communication strategies in science, risk, and health decision makings. Her work focuses on efforts to enhance science communication quality and to foster trustful relationships between the public and scientific communities. Yuan has published over 30 peer-reviewed journal articles, and her work has been supported by both internal and external funding.


  • Science communication
  • Strategic science communication training
  • Public relations for science
  • Persuasion

Research Interests

  • Strategic science communication: 
    • Aggressive communication styles in scientific debates such as child vaccination, GMO and climate change.
    • Communication styles, including polite, aggressive, humorous and other styles that articulate emotional reaction. 
  • Support structures in science communication:
    • Training support science communicators receive and infrastructure support
    • Development of a strategic science communication framework, which emphasizes the need for long-term goals and interim objectives of science communication and then to choose tactics accordingly.

Selected Publications

  • Yuan, S., and Lu, H. (2020). "It’s Global Warming, Stupid": Aggressive Communication Styles and Political Ideology in Science Blog Debates About Climate Change. Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, 97(4), 1003–1025.
  • Yuan, S., Ma, W., Besley, J.C. (2019). Should scientists talk about GMOs nicely? Exploring the effects of communication styles, source expertise, and pre-existing attitude. Science Communication. 41(3), 267-290.
  • Yuan, S., Dudo, A., Besley, J.C., (2019). Scientific Societies’ Support for Public Engagement: An interview study. International Journal of Science Education, Part B. 9(2), 140-153.
  • Yuan, S., Besley, J.C., Dudo, A. (2018). A comparison between scientists’ and communication scholars’ views about scientists’ public engagement activities. Public Understanding of Science. 27(6),708-730.

Courses Taught

  • JOUR 335 - Principles of Public Relations
  • JOUR 360 - Public Relations Writing
  • JOUR 635 - Public Relations Cases, Concepts and Campaigns
  • JOUR 350 - Environment, Health and the Media


Shupei Yuan
Reavis Hall 117

Curriculum Vitae

Google Scholar Profile

Contact Us

Department of Communication
Watson Hall 210
DeKalb, IL 60115
815-753-7109 (Fax)

Mehdi Semati, Ph.D.
Department Chair

Laura Vazquez, Ph.D.
Director of Undergraduate Studies
Watson Hall 213