Shupei Yuan

Assistant Professor, Journalism
PRSSA Co-faculty Advisor

Shupei Yuan, Ph.D., studies the role of communication, journalism and public relations in public engagement with science. Yuan has published more than 20 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

Google Scholar Profile

Contact Us

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

Department Chair

Mehdi Semati, Ph.D.