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Edward R. Murrow College of Communication

Kathryn Robinson-Tay

  1. Ph.D. Student
LocationMurrow Hall 241BA



Kathryn Robinson-Tay is a third-year PhD student studying science and risk communication in the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication. Her research focuses primarily on how institutional and interpersonal trust affect risk perceptions of emerging technologies, especially those on which people might not have a strong foundation of knowledge. This work has focused particularly on self-driving cars and other forms of artificial intelligence. Her research interests also include science and risk communication with rural populations, especially on topics like climate change, energy policy, and environmental health risks. Within these research interests, Kathryn is interested in centering community understanding and sense-making through respectful dialogue, critiquing knowledge deficit assumptions and challenging traditional hegemonic science communication practices. Teaching is Kathryn’s main passion, and classes she has taught include Public Speaking at Washington State University. She has also taught an array of introductory classes and advanced seminars in political science at her previous university. Kathryn has presented at research conferences such as the 2022 Western Political Science Annual Conference and the 2022 National Communication Association Annual Conference. Kathryn holds a B.A. and M.A. degrees in Political Science from the University of Wyoming.


  • M.A., Political Science, University of Wyoming
  • B.A., Political Science, University of Wyoming

Classes Taught

  • COM 102 – Public Speaking in the Digital Age (instructor-of-record)

Research Interests

  • Science communication
  • Risk communication
  • Emerging technologies
  • Institutional trust
  • Public understanding of science

Conference Presentations

Robinson-Tay, K. (2022, November). The “bowl you just can’t fill”: A content analysis of media coverage and compassion fatigue towards Africa [Paper presentation]. National Communication Association (NCA) conference (Student Section), New Orleans, LA, USA.

Tay, K. (2022, March). Who’s in the driver’s seat? An analysis of public policy formation around autonomous vehicles in Tempe, Arizona [Paper presentation]. Western Political Science Association (WPSA) conference, Portland, OR, USA.

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