Salil D. Benegal

Department of Political Science

DePauw University, Greencastle, IN

Contact: salilbenegal at depauw dot edu or salil dot benegal at gmail dot com.

Google Scholar page.


Welcome. I am an assistant professor of Political Science at DePauw University. My work examines the public's understanding of climate change and other scientific issues. In particular, I examine how perceptions of scientific consensus, objective facts, and uncertainty are affected by partisan biases, and how to best correct misperceptions or misinformation on these issues. I also examine how public opinion on climate policy is affected by system justification and social dominance orientation. My research has appeared in journals such as Climatic Change, Global Environmental Change, Environmental Politics, and Social Science & Medicine. My research has also been covered in avenues such as the Washington Post, NPR Michigan Radio, and the Sierra Club Magazine.


Prior to joining DePauw, I completed my Ph.D. at the University of Connecticut. My dissertation "A Changing Climate in the Public Mind", examined how perceptions of economic risk and partisan cues affect attitudes and beliefs towards climate change in the USA and Europe using a series of cross-national polls from the US and Europe, and survey experiments run in the US. Some of my research on this has been published in the Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences (2017) and in Global Environmental Change (2012, with Lyle Scruggs) on trends in belief in global warming during the recent economic recession.


My teaching focuses on areas of both environmental politics and policy, political misinformation in public opinion, and democratic institutions. My teaching page provides a summary of the specific courses I teach. Please email me for syllabi. I also have an interest in the progressive realization and fulfillment of economic and social human rights, and am affiliated with the UConn Economic and Social Rights Research Group (ESRG).