„Sustainable Food Choices as Politics and Lifestyle“ – start-up funding for new project approved

The Center for a Sustainable University at the University of Hamburg has approved funding for the new research project “Sustainable Food Choices as Politics and Lifestyle”, which will start in spring 2018. The project investigates the drivers of food choices and how changing discourses, norms and attitudes about food relate to actual patterns of food consumption: What drives food choices and how are they influenced by ideas and discourses related to more sustainable lifestyles? This question will be tackled in a comprehensive interdisciplinary approach that looks at both, discourses about food and the everyday practices of food consumption. The researchers will analyze local media outlets and conduct surveys and experiments (in the WISO research lab).

Project board members: Michael Brüggemann (speaker), Jannis Androutsopoulos, Imke Hoppe, Katharina Kleinen-von Königslöw, Stefanie Kley, Grischa Perino and Anke Strüver

Project coordinator / researcher: Dr. Radhika Mittal

New paper published: Echo Chambers of Denial: Explaining User Comments on Climate Change

The paper “Echo Chambers of Denial: Explaining User Comments on Climate Change” was published in Environmental Communication. The study identifies factors that foster comments that are sceptical or supportive of basic assumptions of anthropogenic climate change, drawing on online news in the US, the UK, Germany, India, and Switzerland. The results show that users adapt to the dominant opinion within the respective media outlet: user comment sections serve as echo chambers rather than as corrective mechanisms. Climate change denial is more visible in user comment sections in countries where the climate change debate reflects the scientific consensus on climate change and user comments create niches of denial.

The full paper is available online.

The paper was published by Stefanie Walter, PhD, Prof. Dr. Michael Brüggemann and Prof. Dr. Sven Engesser.

New paper published: From “Knowledge Brokers” to Opinion Makers: How Physical Presence Affected Scientists’ Twitter Use During the COP21 Climate Change Conference

The paper “From “Knowledge Brokers” to Opinion Makers: How Physical Presence Affected Scientists’ Twitter Use During the COP21 Climate Change Conference” was published in the International Journal of Communication. This study investigates the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference summit and examines scientists’ social media use by analyzing “digital traces” that scientists left on social media during the summit. Using geolocated tweets, we compare the Twitter use of scientists who attended the conference with those who did not. Combining automated, quantitative, and qualitative content analysis, the study shows how scientists participating in the conference provided live reporting and formed a transnational network. Scientists at the conference and elsewhere engaged in political advocacy, indicating a shift toward a new pattern of hybrid science communication, which includes characteristics that have formerly been attributed to journalism and advocacy.

The full paper is available online.

The paper was published by Stefanie Walter, PhD, Fenja De Silva-Schmidt, M.A., and Prof. Dr. Michael Brüggemann.