A new climate of public reason: impact and trust in science communication

My research is trying to contribute to our understanding of the constraints and possibilities of climate communication.

The questions I am working with are: Who is communicating about climate change and what is it they do and say? How do they plan what to do and say and what do they want to achieve with their communication? How do they evaluate successes and failures in their approaches?

In my research I look at climate communication as a discursive practice. That means that I consider what climate communicators say and do to be constrained by what other people (for example other communicators, scientists, or politicians) say and do. At the same time, by saying and doing things climate communicators create similar constraints for themselves and others.

For someone who is constrained in these ways, it is often hard to know what these constraints really are and where they come from. That is why as part of my research I will spend three months with a climate communication organization as a participant observer. This will involve partaking in the work of the organization as at once a colleague and a researcher, at the same time participating in and observing & analyzing what it is that is said and done. The purpose of my participant observation is to grant me insight into the perspectives of climate communicators on what they do, how they do it, and why they do it. By doing so I hope to contribute to our understanding of what climate communication is and what it can be.

I am an editorial board member of the Sheffield Student Journal for Sociology, and once in a blue moon I tweet @AugustLindemer.

August Lindemer