Dr. Sheldon Ungar has researched real world events that have produced social scares, including the nuclear arms race, emerging diseases (Ebola), global climate change and the bird flu. His studies of climate change have resulted in regular invitations to research institutes in Germany.
Beside his continued interest in the nuclear threat and climate change, his current work also focuses on an examination of knowledge and ignorance and seeks to identify how popular culture and new media affect “cultural literacy”. As part of his study of the cultural production of ignorance, he has examined instances of the “silencing of science”. Indeed, he has experienced “silencing” himself, as papers he has done on climate skeptics have been rendered impossible to publish by reviewers who allow no sentence to pass unremarked. In the past few years, he has published papers on ignorance as a social problem (British Journal of Sociology), global coverage of bird flu (Communicating Science), total war and faculty moral panics over students.