Citizen Action Monitor

Talking Climate: The gateway to research on climate change communication

At Talking Climate, the best research evid­ence is trans­lated into prac­tical guides on a wide range of topics

No 503 Posted by fw, June 11, 2012

Talking Climate: The gateway to research on climate change communication

About & Contact

There is a great deal of research on cli­mate change com­mu­nic­a­tion. But too often this valu­able know­ledge doesn’t reach the people who need it most: cli­mate change com­mu­nic­ators. At the same time, researchers are often unaware of how to pro­mote their work beyond aca­demic journals.

At Talking Climate, the best research evid­ence is trans­lated into prac­tical guides on a wide range of topics, ensuring aca­demics and prac­ti­tioners get the most from cli­mate change com­mu­nic­a­tion research.

With a com­pre­hensive and fre­quently updated data­base of aca­demic papers, a reg­ular news­letter, and a blog fea­turing com­ment and ana­lysis from cli­mate change com­mu­nic­a­tion experts, Talking Climate is the gateway to research on cli­mate change communication.

Talking Climate is a UK-based part­ner­ship between the Climate Outreach and Information Network(COIN), the Public Interest Research Centre (PIRC), the Understanding Risk group at Cardiff University and the ‘Climate change as com­plex social issue’ research group at the School of Sociology and Social Policy, Nottingham University.

Design, devel­op­ment and main­ten­ance of this web­site was funded by Nottingham University School of Sociology and Social Policy, and the cre­ation and devel­op­ment of the data­base was funded by the Understanding Risk group at Cardiff University – spe­cific­ally Nick Pidgeon’s Climate Leader Professorial Fellowship from the Economic and Social Research Council.

Our US and Canadian partner in cli­mate change com­mu­nic­a­tion is Climate Access – the net­work for those enga­ging the public in the trans­form­a­tion to low-carbon, resi­lient communities.


Communicating climate science

The body of sci­entific evid­ence showing that the cli­mate is chan­ging due to human activity is so over­whelming that you might expect the facts to speak for them­selves. Unfortunately they do not, as some people still do not accept the reality or ser­i­ous­ness of cli­mate change. This means that using the most effective methods of com­mu­nic­ating cli­mate sci­ence is critical.

One chal­lenge for com­mu­nic­ators is that cli­mate sci­ence – like any other sci­entific dis­cip­line – will always con­tain uncer­tain­ties. Being honest and open about what sci­ent­ists do and don’t know about cli­mate change, without under­mining the strength of your mes­sage, is a real bal­an­cing act. Talking Climate con­tains a guide to com­mu­nic­ating uncer­tainty, a sec­tion focusing spe­cific­ally on com­mu­nic­ating uncer­tainty in IPCC reports, and links to other resources that offer advice on com­mu­nic­ating uncer­tainty in cli­mate sci­ence in the most effective way.

Another reason that cli­mate sci­ence is so dif­fi­cult to com­mu­nicate is that it is com­plex, and often involves tech­nical ter­min­o­logy and jargon. This guide con­tains advice on making cli­mate sci­ence simple – the best and clearest lan­guage to get com­plex sci­entific con­cepts across in an under­stand­able way.

While com­mu­nic­ating the sci­ence of cli­mate change is an essen­tial com­ponent of cli­mate change com­mu­nic­a­tion, there is mounting evid­ence that simply turning up the volume on the sci­entific facts and fig­ures is not enough to get more people inter­ested and engaged in cli­mate change. Scepticism about the reality and ser­i­ous­ness of cli­mate change is often not based on a lack of sci­entific know­ledge. This guide sum­mar­ises the social sci­ence research that is revealing why some people remain scep­tical about cli­mate change des­pite the strength of the sci­entific evid­ence. Talking Climate also offers a roundup of the key mes­sages about public atti­tudes towards cli­mate change – essen­tial to under­stand for over­coming scepticism.


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This entry was posted on June 11, 2012 by in climate change, evidence based counterpower and tagged , .
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