Cracking The Code: Millennial Science Media Habits and Engagement Summary

Tuesday, February 8, 2022
Resource Type:
Research Brief | Research Products
Environment Type: 
Media and Technology, Broadcast Media, Websites, Mobile Apps, and Online Media
Adults | Museum/ISE Professionals | Scientists
General STEM
KQED, Inc., Texas Tech University, College of Media and Communication, Rockman et al

KQED, a San Francisco based public media organization, is interested in broadening participation and attracting and engaging a younger and more diverse audience, especially millennials, for their science media. The KQED science team is one of the largest reporting teams in the West with a focus on science news and it’s YouTube series, Deep Look.  

This is a summary of Cracking the Code: Influencing Millennial Science Engagement, a three year media research project supported by NSF.  The project brought together KQED science media professionals, academic science media researchers from Texas Tech and Yale universities, an evaluator from Rockman et al and in the final year the University of Connecticut to study and research science media habits and behaviors of millennials.  

The study focused on two research questions:

1. How can KQED adapt and expand upon existing research to understand the role of science identity and curiosity in millennial engagement and interest in science media?

2. Which presentations – editorial tactics, platform choices, media elements, and outreach strategies – can increase millennials' curiosity and cognitive engagement with science content, with special attention given to underrepresented and under-engaged audiences within the generation?

These questions were studied using a variety of surveys, questionnaires and interviews and all of the research studies, reports and posts can be found on the KQED Cracking the Code website. 


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Team Members

Sue Ellen McCannPrincipal Investigator
Sevda ErisSevda ErisCo-Principal Investigator
Asheley LandrumAsheley LandrumCo-Principal Investigator
Sarah MohamadSarah MohamadProject Manager
Scott BurgEvaluator

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