Communicating climate science
The problem is not that people haven’t been given enough facts; it is rather that the facts have not been presented in the right ways.
Most researchers agree on that it is important to communicate their research to a wider audience but they are held back by how in academia, public engagement is not as highly recognized and rewarded as publications and grants. Even so, it is more important than ever for scientists to ask ourselves how we can contribute more to mitigating the social, technological and environmental challenges that we are facing today.
The facts about climate change can be terrifying, but really, they can also be exhilarating, depending on how we present them. The problem is not that people haven’t been given enough facts; it is rather that the facts have not been presented in the right ways. When stories about climate change come across as terrifying, we run the risk of causing inaction and paralysis. Yet, the same science can be told in ways that are exhilarating and that spark action. When we communicate climate science we have a great responsibility to think about what our audience needs and what engages them.
I am working together with schools, artists and Svalbard-based guides to engage a wider audience with environmental change in the Arctic.