[ASC-list] Hot Air - Communicating the science of climate change; a series of three symposia organised by ASC for 2009

Jenni Metcalfe jenni at econnect.com.au
Fri Nov 14 05:00:13 UTC 2008

Dear Colleagues,


Please find some preliminary details about three symposia ASC is organising
for 2009. If you would like more information or would like to provide
support or ideas, please contact me. Also, please note that the symposia are
definitely going ahead, but the breadth and extent will depend on



Human-induced climate change is now accepted as fact by the vast majority of
climate change scientists. The Australian public also largely accepts this
view, as demonstrated in opinion polls and at the last national election.
The Australian Government is moving to minimise carbon use by industry and
individuals and has taken an active stance internationally on this issue.

The next step will be a difficult one. Reductions in carbon use will require
changes to the way Australians live, affecting jobs, energy prices and
transport. They will increase the cost of living at a time of economic
fragility. The arguments on climate change will be tested again and again as
policies begin to bite.

The central question our symposia will explore is: given that climate change
is occurring, how can science communicators work with governments, industry,
business and communities to help generate solutions to the problems it
raises? Solutions will focus on reducing greenhouse gas emissions as well as
adapting to climate change. Every step and every change will be accompanied
by a renewed need for dialogue and discussion with the public on the causes
and impact of climate change.


1.      Communicating the science of climate change in a sceptical world -
to be held on Tuesday 23 March, 2009 in conjunction with Greenhouse 2009,
Perth, March 23-26, 2009

2.      Communicating the science of climate change with government,
industry and business - to be held in conjunction with the 10th
International Congress of Ecology (INTECOL), Brisbane, August 16-21, 2009

3.      Communicating the science of climate change with the people - to be
held in conjunction with Australian Science Communicators conference, date
and location to be confirmed


1.      To increase awareness and understanding of the issues and
opportunities associated with communicating climate change to assist in the
generation and adoption of useful mitigation and adaptation strategies.

2.      To discuss factors influencing ethical and clear communication of
and engagement with climate change science.

3.      To identify 'best practice' in communicating about climate change
science to assist in the generation and adoption of useful mitigation and
adaptation strategies.


*         Science communication professionals, including science
journalists, writers, editors, institution-based communicators and

*         Scientists involved in communicating climate change science

*         Others involved in communicating about climate change, e.g. policy
makers, industry leaders, business leaders, community leaders


Each symposium will run for one day and will include plenary sessions with
keynote speakers and panel discussions followed by small group discussion
sessions. Each small group (6-10 people) will have a mix of participants, an
experienced facilitator and a recorder. The small group discussions would
focus on specific questions relevant to each symposium topic and determined
prior to each symposium. 


1.      The proceedings of each symposium, including plenary sessions and
small group discussions, will be made available on the ASC website. 

2.      We will be using the output of each symposium to produce a set of
guidelines for science communicators as to how to work most effectively with
governments, industry, business and communities to achieve mitigation and
adaptation solutions to climate change.

3.       We will use the subject of climate change as a model for
communicating complex and controversial science topics. This will form the
basis of a professional development module for science communicators. 

4.       The outcomes of the symposia discussions will form the basis for a
paper to be published in an international journal


Look forward to your inputs and ideas.




Jenni Metcalfe


Econnect Communication

PO Box 734

South Brisbane Q 4101

Ph. 07 3846 7111; 0408 551 866

jenni at econnect.com.au



Subscribe to Econnect's free monthly e-newsletter on our website.


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