Starting as a major in "Language and Mind" at MIT, I completed my undergraduate studies in Math at the University of Chicago, and then practiced rhetoric as a lawyer before going on to get a Ph.D. with an emphasis in classical rhetorical theory and contemporary public address. Now I've found myself in the English department here at the nation's first land grant university, looking at what happens when scientists get caught up in civic controversies. And all the while I've been learning about one and the same big thing. Eventually I'll figure out what it is!
- Rhetorical theory, with special emphasis on the theory of argument in civic settings. How do people who disagree about almost everything nevertheless manage to deliberate together? What do they have to say to each other? I want to answer these questions without making "optimistic" assumptions that disagreement will somehow disappear.
- Communication between scientists and citizens on controversial issues, e.g. climate change, alternative energy, and sustainable farming practices. In other words, what happens when those with expert knowledge land in the middle of a big argument? How can knowledge be communicated effectively and appropriately within democratic policy-making, without the experts either dominating the discussion or being drowned out?
- Oratory. Someone stands up, earns the attention of her fellow citizens, and the world changes. This still works, and we need to watch it, cherish it, understand it and foster it better.
Recent research funding
- PI (with co-PIs Michael Dahlstrom, Mari Kemis & Clark Wolf), "Cases for Teaching the Responsible Communication of Science," National Science Foundation, Ethics Education in Science & Engineering program ($250K). Researching and developing teaching materials on ten cases of controversies about the ethics of science communication.
Faculty Leader in the NSF-funded Strengthening the Professoriate @ISU initiative; helping create a culture of broader impacts among science and engineering faculty at ISU, with particular focus on promoting efforts to disseminate the results of funded research to audiences of citizens and policy-makers.
Co-PI (with Michael Dahlstrom & Kevin DelaPlante), "Promoting Ethical and Effective Communication of Science in Policy Controversies," ISU Center for Excellence in the Arts & Humanities, Seed Grant for Collaborative Research ($30K). Funding the first three ISU Summer Symposia on Science Communication.
"The rhetorical force of the appeal to expert authority," National Endowment for the Humanities, Summer Stipend, 2010.
Co-PI (with PI Carl Herndl, and Co-PIs Lee Honeycutt & Greg Wilson), "Improving Communication and Cooperation between Diverse Stakeholders: Mapping the Rhetorical Terrain of the Bioeconomy," ISU Center for Excellence in the Arts & Humanities, Collaborative Grant, ($15K), 2008-09.
A Few Publications
- Goodwin, Jean, ed. Between Scientists & Citizens: Proceedings of a Conference at Iowa State University, 1-2 June, 2012. Ames, IA: GPSSA, 2012.
- Herndl, Carl, Jean Goodwin, Lee Honeycutt, Greg Wilson, Scott Graham and David Niedergeses. "Talking sustainability: Identification and division in an Iowa community." Journal of Sustainable Agriculture 35 (2011) 436-461.
- Goodwin, Jean and Viviana Cortes. "Theorists' and practitioners' spatial metaphors for argumentation: A corpus-based approach," Verbum 23 (2010) 163-78.
- "Trust in experts as a principal-agent problem." In Dialectics, Dialogue, and Argumentation, ed. Chris Reed and Christopher W. Tindale, 133-143. London: College Publications, 2010.
- Goodwin, Jean, and Lee Honeycutt, "When science goes public: From technical arguments to appeals to authority," Studies in Communication Sciences 9.2 (2009) 125-36.
- "Argument has no function," Informal Logic 27 (2007).
- "Designing premises." In Argumentation in Practice, edited by F.H. van Eemeren and P.Houtlosser, 99-114. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 2005.
- "Students' perspectives on debate exercises in content area classes," Communication Education 52 (2003) 157-163.
- "Designing issues." In Dialectic and Rhetoric: The Warp and Woof of Argumentation Analysis, edited by F.H. van Eemeren et al., 81-96. Amsterdam: Kluwer, 2002.
- "Cicero's authority." Philosophy & Rhetoric 34 (2001): 38-60.
- For the complete list, here's my cv in pdf format.
- Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison, program in Rhetoric, 1996.
- J.D., University of Chicago Law School, 1984.
- B.A. in Mathematics, The College, University of Chicago, 1979.
- I play T'ai Chi, am devoted to the Ames Farmers' Market, take care of the largest collection of central asian felt rugs in central Iowa, don't clean often enough, and am a master of the dumpling (though only a novice at pickles).
- "I have sworn on the altar of God eternal hostility to all forms of tyranny over the minds of man": since T. Jefferson already took this one, my epitaph will have to be: "Native (autochthon) of the goodly land of rhetoric, full citizen (politeis) of the city of mind, permanent resident alien (metoike) in the contemporary academy."