Environmental communication

11/12/2013

Science is part of our everyday live; so is art. Some art installations that link the two require the active presence of the spectator. Thereby they help to raise the awareness, promote understanding, and generate an emotional response from the public. This project rests on the public participation model that seeks to explore the connection between art installations and science communication through experiential learning. In order to test the effectiveness of an art installation communicating science two groups were contrasted. The first was exposed to a list of scientific facts; the second participated in the creation of an art installation. The results of this research suggest that art installations do promote long-term fact retention. Therefore, the use of art installations can be considered an interesting method of conveying science in an attractive, reliable, and memorable way.

13/11/2012

This paper investigated the potential of the Public Internet Terminal (PIT) system to promote basic health education for two rural communities in the North West Province of South Africa. A case study approach was used. Participants were selected from a population group of teachers, nurses, business people and  students in the two communities. Observation, group interviews and questionnaire were used to gather evidence from the participants regarding their  operational difficulties, social/economic difficulties and perceived usefulness of using the PIT system for basic health education. The findings revealed that a high number of participants could not operate the PIT system to search for relevant health information. Participants cited reasons of information overload and slow response of the PIT system. Further findings revealed that many participants lack awareness of the PIT services in these post offices. Participants  indicated that the PIT system lacks local content specific information such as healthcare information on vaccination, personal hygiene, nutrition and pharmacies around their vicinities. The results from this study led to the recommendations which emphasized the incorporation of basic e-health education portal into the existing services on the PIT system and proposed a new user interface for the PIT.

26/10/2011

This article examines communicative aspects of climate change, identifying and analysing metaphors used in specialized media reports on climate change, and discussing the aspects of climate change these metaphors emphasize and neglect. Through a critical discourse analysis of the two largest Swedish farm magazines over the 2000–2009 period, this study finds that greenhouse, war, and game metaphors were the most frequently used metaphors in the material. The analysis indicates that greenhouse metaphors are used to ascribe certain natural science characteristics to climate change, game metaphors to address positive impacts of climate change, and war metaphors to highlight negative impacts of climate change. The paper concludes by discussing the contrasting and complementary metaphorical representations farm magazines use to conventionalize climate change.

10/06/2011

A significant number of mass media news stories on climate change quote scientific publications. However, the journalistic process of popularizing scientific research regarding climate change has been profoundly criticized for being manipulative and inaccurate. This preliminary study used content analysis to examine the accuracy of Danish high quality newspapers in quoting scientific publications from 1997 to 2009. Out of 88 articles, 46 contained inaccuracies though the majority was found to be insignificant and random. The study concludes that Danish broadsheet newspapers are ‘moderately inaccurate’ in quoting science publications but are not deliberately hyping scientific claims. However, the study also shows that 11% contained confusion of source, meaning that statements originating from press material or other news outlets were incorrectly credited to scientific peer-reviewed publications.

27/08/2009

Public opinions toward emergent technologies may be highly dependent on the manner in which people are introduced to these technologies for the very first time. In this light, understanding how such first introductions are related to adolescents’ information seeking behaviors and their developing opinions may be particularly interesting because this target public can be considered to be not only future users of the technology but also future decision makers of its development. The present paper presents a case study of the introduction of ecogenomics among 246 adolescents who were asked to inform themselves about this technology and to write two essays: one that would reflect their personal opinions, and another that would reflect their advice to the Dutch government about further funding of ecogenomics research. Results showed that the Internet was by far their preferred source of information and that most adolescents held positive attitudes toward ecogenomics as expressed in essays that reflected their personal opinions and advice to others. In their perspective, ecogenomics was a positive development in science because of expected benefits concerning medical and environmental applications, such as the potential discovery of new antibiotics and the possible use in bioremediation.

19/06/2009

The climate change issue has become increasingly present in our society in the last decade and central also to communication studies. In the e-book “Communicating Climate Change: Discourses, Mediations and Perceptions”, edited by Anabela Carvalho, various scholars investigate how climate change challenges communication by looking at three main aspects: the discourses of a variety of social actors on climate change; the reconstruction of those discourses in the media; the citizens’ perceptions, understandings and attitudes in relation to climate change.

16/04/2009

Assessment of trends in the state of the environment constitutes one important aspect of efforts to achieve environmental sustainability. Assessments are often undertaken via indicators which measure progress towards environmental objectives and interim targets. This paper starts from the assumption that different types of environmental indicators have different implications for the public communication and the societal dialogue about the state of the environment and the measures needed to increase ecological sustainability. The paper concludes that it is important to evaluate environmental indicators on the basis of their communicative potential. It is demonstrated how science-based assessment of progress towards environmental objectives may fulfil different aims. Each of these aims may be linked to particular types of indicators, as well as to particular ideas of how to communicate uncertainties, and to particular views of the role of the public in the system of environmental objectives.

20/03/2009

One of the main purposes of weather forecasting is that of protecting weather-sensitive human activities. Forecasts issued in the probabilistic form have a higher informative content, as opposed to deterministic one, since they bear information that give also a measure of their own uncertainty. However, in order to make an appropriate and effective use of this kind of forecasts in an operational setting, communication becomes significatively relevant.The present paper, after having briefly examined the weather forecasts concerning Hurricane Charley (August 2004), tackles the issue of the communicative process in detail.The bottom line of this study is that for the weather forecast to achieve its best predictive potential, an in-depth analysis of communication issues is necessary.

24/02/2009

There is a compelling need to ensure that the points of view and preferences of stakeholders are fully considered and incorporated into natural resources management strategies. Stakeholders include a diverse group of individuals in several sectors that have an interest in how natural resources are managed. Typically, stakeholders with an interest in groundwater resources include groups who could be affected by the manner in which the resource is managed (e.g., farmers who need water for irrigation; municipalities and individuals who need drinking water, agencies and organizations that want to maintain in-stream flows to support ecosystems, etc.) Refugio County in South Texas provides an interesting case study since several groups of water users in the region are working with researchers at Texas A&M University-Kingsville (TAMUK) to develop decision-support models that incorporate stakeholder concerns. The focus of this paper is to provide a series of arguments and approaches about the ways in which stakeholder issues have recently been incorporated into environmental models, to briefly describe some of the TAMUK efforts to develop groundwater models that incorporate stakeholder inputs, and to present and discuss a method in which communication research can be used to obtain stakeholder preferences input into modeling efforts.

21/12/2007

The Norwegian Nobel Committee has bestowed the 2007 Nobel Peace Price equally upon the scientists of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and Al Gore, former vice-President of the United States of America, with the same motivation: «for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change».

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