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Communicating Climate Science

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Communicating Climate Science

Dr Chris Brierley, of UCL Geography, was a member of a UCL Policy Commission on Communicating Climate Science, whose report was published in late June.

The Commission, which encompassed evidence from a wide range of disciplines, has spent the past 18 months thinking about the seeming disconnect between public discussions about climate change and scientific opinion.

This primarily arises because action on climate change is not just a response to the scientific projections but also involves opinions on what sort of world and society we want to inhabit.

An editorial in Nature this week describes the report as “useful”, applying to it the term ecopragmatic’. It acknowledges an awkward truth that, “if climate scientists are failing to get their message across to the wider public, then it could be the message that is the problem, not the public”, and that “scientists must learn to tell stories rather than report cold facts”.

The Report argues that climate scientists would benefit from a better understanding of the various roles and ideals influencing science communication.

Chris aims to act on this recommendation by developing a novel workshop for the new NERC London Doctoral Training Partnership, which Professor Anson Mackay was instrumental in trialling last summer.



The full report is available from:


'Time for Change' report

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Chris Brierley