Communication partnerships: effects of consensus, disagreements and expertise


The use of partnerships between the Food Standards Agency and other potential sources of risk information offers one means for trying to improve risk communication with the public. If the Food Standards Agency is to develop a more effective communication strategy it needs to address the issue of the extent to which building such partnerships will be likely to be effective in raising public confidence and how such partnerships might be made more effective.

This project will provide an understanding of the role played by such partnerships in the process of risk communication. The research seeks to uncover the preferences of the public for different forms of communication partnerships and the key issues and barriers to implementation of such partnerships seen by potential partners. It will assess experimentally the impact on the effectiveness of communications of the number and types of partners and the degree of consensus or disagreement between partners. It will also explore the effects of trusted partners taking on expert information with and without explicit partnerships.



Dean, M. & Shepherd, R. (2007). Effects of information from sources in consensus on perceptions of genetically modified food. Food Quality and Preference, 18, 460-469.


  • Prof Richard Shepherd
  • Dr Moira Dean