Browse all Publications

Filter by keyword: Environmental communication

Publications including this keyword are listed below.

Jan 17, 2019 Article
From citizen science to citizen action: analysing the potential for a digital platform to cultivate attachments to nature

by Nirwan Sharma, Sam Greaves, Advaith Siddharthan, Helen Anderson, Annie Robinson, Laura Colucci-Gray, Agung T. Wibowo, Helen Bostock, Andrew Salisbury, Stuart Roberts, David Slawson and Rene van der Wal

Identifying private gardens in the U.K. as key sites of environmental engagement, we look at how a longer-term online citizen science programme facilitated the development of new and personal attachments of nature. These were visible through new or renewed interest in wildlife-friendly gardening practices and attitudinal shifts in a large proportion of its participants. Qualitative and quantitative data, collected via interviews, focus groups, surveys and logging of user behaviours, revealed that cultivating a fascination with species identification was key to both ‘helping nature’ and wider learning, with the programme creating a space where scientific and non-scientific knowledge could co-exist and reinforce one another.

Volume 18 • Issue 01 • 2019 • Special Issue: User Experience of Digital Technologies in Citizen Science, 2019

Oct 22, 2018 Book Review
Pedagogical challenges: insights from environmental communication

by Emma Weitkamp

Environmental Pedagogies and Practice is divided into four sections: changing environmental pedagogies, teaching practices, examples of transformative approaches and a toolkit of lesson plans. While the book focuses on environmental communication, the chapters offer insights that are also relevant in a range of science communication contexts.

Volume 17 • Issue 04 • 2018

Oct 08, 2018 Practice Insight
Time to teach post-normal science communication? Fostering the engagement of the extended peer community in an academic course of Environmental Sciences

by Alba L'Astorina, Alessia Ghezzi, Stefano Guerzoni and Emanuela Molinaroli

In November 2016, within an Environmental studies course at the University of Venice, students carried out an experiment aimed at collecting scenarios of the Venetian coast's future starting from lessons learnt during the episode of storm surge 50 years ago (Aqua Granda ‘flood’). The students built scenarios able to anticipate the effect of sea level rise on coastal areas in Venice, based not only on scientific input but also on a methodology called “Futurescape city Tours” (FCT) involving inhabitants of the barrier islands of Lido and Pellestrina. This paper will explore three main questions: (i) Can participatory and experiential methodologies, such as FCT help students behave in an anticipatory and inclusive way in their future professional activities? (ii) Can we talk about post-normal science teaching? — i.e. one that acknowledges and works with science and other knowledges to address societal issues? (iii) Can such an approach challenge students thinking in relation to knowledge hierarchies?

Volume 17 • Issue 04 • 2018

Sep 17, 2018 Article
Digging deeper? Muddling through? How environmental activists make sense and use of science — an exploratory study

by Birte Faehnrich

This paper focusses on the sense making and use of science by environmental activists. It is based on the assumption that activists — without being scientists or professional science communicators — take up a central role in the environmental discourse concerning the translation of scientific findings and their public dissemination. It is thus asked how environmental activists evaluate the relevance of science for their work, which structures and processes they apply to make sense of science, and how they use science related information to make their voices heard. This paper presents data from a study on Canadian activists regarding their use of scientific information in the field of forest protection. The data, interpreted in the context of a situational analysis, helps to enhance understanding of environmental activists' information systems but also show the strategic use of scientific information by these alternative science communicators.

Volume 17 • Issue 03 • 2018

Jul 16, 2018 Article
Communicating with Coastal Decision-Makers and Environmental Educators via Sea Level Rise Decision-Support Tools

by Denise DeLorme, Sonia Stephens, Scott Hagen and Matthew Bilskie

Communicating about environmental risks requires understanding and
addressing stakeholder needs, perspectives, and anticipated uses for
communication products and decision-support tools. This paper
demonstrates how long-term dialogue between scientists and stakeholders
can be facilitated by repeated stakeholder focus groups. We describe a
dialogic process for developing science-based decision-support tools as
part of a larger sea level rise research project in the Gulf of Mexico. We
demonstrate how focus groups can be used effectively in tool development,
discuss how stakeholders plan to use tools for decision-making and
broader public outreach, and describe features that stakeholders perceive
would make products more usable.

Volume 17 • Issue 03 • 2018

Jul 02, 2018 Article
What do people know about climate change ― and how confident are they? On measurements and analyses of science related knowledge

by Monika Taddicken, Anne Reif and Imke Hoppe

The measurement and analysis of people's knowledge on scientific topics, such as climate change, is challenging for researchers. One reason is that objectives are multi-dimensional and that probability is inherent. Moreover, uncertainties can exist on the individual's level among the public, but are rarely grasped by existing scales. Therefore, researchers must thoroughly consider what to measure and how. This paper theorizes five different dimensions of climate change knowledge. Three response scales including different degrees of confidence are applied on data from a German online survey (n=935); empirical results of multivariate regression analyses on attitudes are compared. Results highlight the importance of distinctively measuring dimensions and types of knowledge.

Volume 17 • Issue 03 • 2018

Jun 20, 2018 Article
An inconvenient source? Attributes of science documentaries and their effects on information-related behavioral intentions

by Sara K. Yeo, Andrew R. Binder, Michael F. Dahlstrom and Dominique Brossard

We investigate the impact of a science documentary on individuals' intention to engage in information-related behaviors by experimentally testing the effects of source type (scientist, politician, or anonymous source) and communication setting (interview or lecture) using a manipulated clip from the documentary, ‘An Inconvenient Truth’. Our results indicate that, compared to anonymous sources, use of authoritative ones result in greater intention to engage in some information-related behaviors. Additionally, our results suggest that increased intentions to engage in exchanging information can be attributed to negative affect induced by the clip featuring a politician. Implications for documentary films and science communication are discussed.

Volume 17 • Issue 02 • 2018

Apr 23, 2018 Book Review
Discourse media analysis of risk and responsibility for environmental pollution

by Jenni Metcalfe

This book examines the media discourses about environmental pollution in Australia, China and Japan. The book's authors focus on the actors involved in discussions of risk versus those involved in responsibility for environmental pollution. The authors use novel and traditional means of analysis that combine techniques from a variety of disciplines to examine case studies of media discourse. The book provides an interesting, if at times simplistic, overview of the pollution issues facing each country. The conclusions made from the media analysis are relevant to those researching and practicing science communication in the context of such important environmental issues.

Volume 17 • Issue 02 • 2018

Mar 13, 2018 Article
Climate change news reporting in Pakistan: a qualitative analysis of environmental journalists and the barriers they face

by Asim Sharif and Fabien Medvecky

Climate change is a global risk as its causes and effects are not limited to national borders, but the risks and the responsibility are not evenly spread [Beck, 2009]. Pakistan is facing especially severe impacts in the form of disasters, floods, droughts, rising temperatures, cyclones and rising sea levels due to global emissions, despite its national emissions being nominal and accounting for only 0.46% of worldwide emissions [World Bank, 2018]. Ironically, the level of public awareness of climate change is low in Pakistan compared to not only advanced countries, but also to other countries in the South Asian region [Zaheer and Colom, 2013]. A contributing factor behind this is the communication gap between the media and the broader public. This study aims to explore the factors responsible for the limited coverage of climate change in the news media, leading to confusion, uncertainty, denial and low levels of climate change awareness in Pakistan. Qualitative semi-structured interviews were conducted with media professionals and the findings show that political, economic, social, cultural, technological and scientific factors influence the news coverage of climate change issues.

Volume 17 • Issue 01 • 2018

Dec 13, 2017 Article
The “Gateway Belief” illusion: reanalyzing the results of a scientific-consensus messaging study

by Dan Kahan

This paper analyzes data collected but not reported in the study featured in van der Linden, Leiserowitz, Feinberg, and Maibach [van der Linden et al., 2015]. VLFM report finding that a “scientific consensus” message “increased” experiment subjects' “key beliefs about climate change” and “in turn” their “support for public action” to mitigate it. However, VLFM fail to report that message-exposed subjects' “beliefs about climate change” and “support for public action” did not vary significantly, in statistical or practical terms, from those of a message-unexposed control group. The paper also shows how this absence of an experimental effect was obscured by a misspecified structural equation model.

Volume 16 • Issue 05 • 2017