[ASC-list] Climate change: Communicating science in a political minefield - Keynote plenary talk at ASC Conference, Tuesday 9 February 2010

Jenni Metcalfe jenni at econnect.com.au
Sun Dec 20 23:13:28 UTC 2009

Professor Will Steffen is just on his way back from Copenhagen and has much
to share with science communicators at the Hot Air symposium to be held on
Tuesday Feb 9 next year in Canberra. His presentation will be the keynote
talk for Hot Air AND the plenary talk for the ASC conference that day. The
draft abstract of his presentation is pasted below. 


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Climate change: Communicating science in a political minefield


Will Steffen, Executive Director, ANU Climate Change Institute


"Without science, we are just building castles in the air" - Prime Minister
Kevin Rudd, COP15, Copenhagen, 16 December 2009


Science has played a crucial role - in fact, the essential role - in the
development of anthropogenic climate change as an issue that has now gone
beyond science, beyond the normal type of environmental issue, and has
become a much broader societal issue. As climate change now reaches into the
heart of contemporary society - core values, world perspectives, belief
systems - it has become a political minefield. Thus, communicating the
science of climate change has become far more complex than communicating the
science itself - how the climate system works and how human activities are
influencing the system. With respect to climate change, science
communication is now operating in a wholly different arena than before.


How do we cope with this new situation? This presentation will explore the
question by going back to some fundamental principles that underpin modern
science. How is modern science different from other knowledge systems? How
does science work and how does it guarantee quality? Why does the science of
the climate change deniers fail compared to mainstream climate science? How
can we best communicate this to a public that is challenged, confronted and
frightened about the real implications of climate change? How can we convey
this to mainstream media that have significantly misunderstood and
misinterpreted what climate science is all about?



Jenni Metcalfe

Director Econnect Communication

PO Box 734

South Brisbane Q 4101



jenni at econnect.com.au

phone: + 61 7 3846 7111, +0408 551 866

skype:  jenni.metcalfe


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