Faculty

Thomas Miller

Sr. Continuing Lecturer

Contact Information

Email    PROFMILLER@SPEECH.UCLA.EDU
Office  1336 Rolfe Hall
Phone  310-825-3303

In studying the science and rhetoric of climate change, my students and I investigate why we as a society are poles apart on this issue.  We test Yale law and psychology professor Dan Kahan’s assertion that: “The problem isn’t the public’s reasoning capacity; it is the polluted science-communication environment that drives people apart.”  Each spring we revisit this debate and deconstruct it with the goal of cleaning up these toxic and polarized communication spheres.

 

Teaching the power of effective storytelling involves learning to simplify the message, doing the unexpected, making the abstract -concrete, being credible, and communicating emotion.  It also includes listening, preparing, getting the facts and above all else-- telling the right story to the right audience. A story I told about a year in the life of a college debate team evolved into a screenplay and then a major motion picture starring Roy Scheider, Jami Gertz, and Kirk Cameron. You may enjoy the film here.

 

Nonverbal communication in the courtroom as well as expert witness preparation is another research interest of mine. I served as a trial consultant for the O.J Simpson murder trial. I also comment on local, state and national political debates for the media. You may listen to a recent interview here.

 

So, whether it is speech and debate, science and rhetoric or powerful storytelling, UCLA students are prepared to communicate effectively.

Read More

Degrees

M.A., Speech Communication, California State University, Northridge

B.A., Mass Communication Studies, University of California, Los Angeles