Low Receives Climate Change Communication Fellowship
June 21, 2012
Climate change communicators are no strangers to the many challenges facing experts that engage with the public on issues of high scientific content. From the difficulties of translating complexities and nuances into everyday language, to balancing issues between global and local scale, and addressing sources of misinformation, scientists, journalists and educators engaged in this activity certainly have their plates full.
The Translating Science/Telling Stories: “What We Talk About When We Talk About Climate Change” workshop, held in Cleveland, Ohio, last week, brought together a distinguished group of journalists and scientists to address climate change communication challenges. In addition to learning about the latest in Great Lakes climate research, participants — who were awarded fellowships to attend the workshop — met to engage in developing a new model of climate change communication.
Participating at the workshop, IGES Senior Earth Scientist for Education & Public Outreach (E/PO), Dr. Rusty Low said that encouraging collaboration between scientists and journalists was a positive first step in changing the paradigm. “Journalists are struggling with the same issues related to climate change communication as scientists are, so there is a lot of commonality in our experience,” she said.
While solving these issues will take time, establishing connections like these for continuing dialogue is fundamental. “We [the workshop participants] hope to remain in contact and serve as reciprocal sources, sharing what we know and partnering our skills to improve climate change education and communication to the public,” added Low.
The Translating Science/Telling Stories workshop was co-sponsored by the Society of Environmental Journalists and the Knight Center for Environmental Journalism. Low’s fellowship was sponsored by the Great Lakes Climate Communication Educational Partnership and made possible with funds provided by the National Science Foundation.
Top right: Rusty Low, center, at the “What our Audiences Know: Common Misconceptions About Climate” session of the NASA Earth Science E/PO retreat last May.