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Aug 01, 2022 Article
Communicating urgency through humor: School Strike 4 Climate protest placards

by Matthew Hee, Anna-Sophie Jürgens, Anastasiya Fiadotava, Karina Judd and Hannah R. Feldman

Protest placards are an important part of School Strike 4 Climate (SS4C) protest culture and illustrate how protesters view, understand and share their environmental concerns. Many of the placards use humor to convey the messages of their creators. Bringing together science communication and humor studies, this paper examines the communicative functions of humor in Australian SS4C posters by asking to what extent protest signs can be understood as a vehicle of science communication. The paper reveals how humorous protest placards become the means of grassroots creativity, exploring bottom-up science communication in an ambiguous, but accessible and enjoyable form.

Volume 21 • Issue 05 • 2022

Nov 24, 2020 Commentary
A rhetorical perspective on youth environmental activism

by Hannah R. Feldman

As “alternative” [Maeseele, 2009] science communicators, young people (of pre-voting age) have an important role to play in the climate communication arena. Youth have access to rhetorical resources associated with evidence-based and emotional appeals. However, they are challenged by political, media and public entities on their ability to effectively engage with politicised scientific issues. Their credibility and authority to speak on climate issues are challenged. This piece takes a rhetorical lens to a current youth climate change advocacy case study, the ‘School Strike for Climate’. I argue that Australian youth are criticised for being politically inexperienced in attempts to silence them from speaking out about Australian climate change policy. Implications for science communicators working in the climate change space, and the ‘Strike’ participants themselves are discussed.

Volume 19 • Issue 06 • 2020