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Dr. Patricia Moy, an esteemed scholar of political communication at the University of Washington, will be taking the lead on BEA’s 2020 Research Symposium, “Political Communication, Culture, and Society.”

“Many people tend to associate political communication with elections, voting, and institutions. But the concept infuses all corners of society – think political with a lower-case p. Many ostensibly nonpolitical issues and phenomena — science, entertainment content, race, gender, to name a few – intersect with politics in very meaningful ways,” Dr. Moy added. “I hope the research symposium attracts scholars who will show how political communication, culture, and society influence each other.”

Dr. Moy’s keen interest in political communication stems back to her days at Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, studying public opinion in the former Soviet Union. Today she remains active in the world of public opinion and political communication. Her research examines how the information environment shapes how individuals perceive the world around them and how they choose to engage with that world – through various forms of civic and political engagement, and through political discussion and myriad manifestations of opinion expression. She is the editor of Public Opinion Quarterly and has served as president of the World Association for Public Opinion Research as well as the Midwest Association for Public Opinion Research.

Moy did express concerns about the development of new ‘sources’ for doing research and having it published. She said “There is an abundance of new outlets of dubious quality and it is challenging to realize what is quality research. The BEA Symposium provides time to preview material, ask questions get feedback and share new concepts with professional peer review which is essential.”

Within the larger communication discipline, Patricia is editor-in-chief of Oxford Bibliographies in Communication and past president of the International Communication Association. Her work with ICA has illuminated how researchers from different subfields often study concepts that are in conversation with one another, yet are unaware of who could be at the intellectual table. Dr. Moy makes it clear she’s a big fan of cosponsored panels that highlight points of connection between different areas of research or show how a longstanding theory might hold up in markedly different cultures. “I’m a believer that various research areas do overlap and there is a need to get disciplines together when pursuing research,” she added. When asked why she took on BEA’s Symposium Dr. Moy added “It is fun to engage with different types of research I’m not familiar with and with a new group doing such research. I also enjoy editing making excellent research “crisp”!

Dr. Moy earned her Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Mass Communications and her M.S. and B.S. from Cornell University. In 1998, she joined the faculty of the School of Communications, now the Department of Communication, at the University of Washington. Her teaching portfolio includes undergraduate and graduate courses in communication theory, media effects, public opinion, political communication, and statistics and methodology. Since 2013 Dr. Moy has been the Associate Vice Provost for Academic and Students Affairs. She holds the title of Christy Cressey Professor of Communication and is adjunct professor of political science. She also has held faculty appointments at Hebrew University, the University of Milan, the University of Mannheim, and the Mannheim Center for European Social Research.