The communication discipline has grown at a steady pace over the past fifty years. It has begun to take its place among the other social science disciplines in terms of theory development and building a knowledge base. Communication as a discipline is not well understood, however. It has, therefore, been slow to be included in interdisciplinary science research projects, despite the fact that communication research would improve the quality of these projects and would, in some cases, prove to be a crucial element affecting the research results.
To provide a means of informing the scientific community and federal funding agencies of the value of communication research to development of scientific knowledge, the National Communication Association will sponsor a working conference to review the significant scientific findings in communication and to develop a document that will inform others about the value of communication to science.
The conference will be held March 1-4, 2001, in Tucson, Arizona, with preliminary work already completed at the annual meeting of the National Communication Association, November 9-12, 2000, in Seattle, Washington. The work of the conference will be facilitated by the use of a Group Decision Support System laboratory at the University of Arizona. Following the meeting, one or two individuals will edit the work into a paper, which will then be printed as a booklet suitable for wide distribution.