Dr. Benjamin Bates is the Barbara Geralds Schoonover Professor of Health Communication in the Scripps College of Communication.
Bates uses communication to enact change, not simply observe it. Specifically, he focuses on questions of what constitutes health, how it can be attained, and community understandings of intervention options. His aim is to provide analysis and interpretation that can better public policy and health interventions.
"As a rhetorically trained scholar, the first focus of my research provides analysis of
existing health messages to identify strengths and weaknesses, as governments and nonprofit actors persuade or fail to persuade audiences to adopt health-promoting action,” Bates said. “As a scholar who wishes to intervene in the world, the second focus of my research uses communication theory and research methods to identify appropriate strategies for communication intervention to improve the health and wellbeing of the public, alongside and with members of the community in which the intervention is to take place.”
Bates has worked both nationally and internationally. Among his impacts are working with the Ohio University Infectious and Tropical Disease Institute and the Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador’s Center for Research on Health in Latin America, where his team has transformed approaches to addressing communities impacted by Chagas disease.