Scientists communicate online via social media about climate change. They engage with other scientists as well as with journalists, civil society and politicians. To what extent and how their language use varies depending on whom they talk to was examined by Stefanie Walter, Ines Lörcher and Michael Brüggemann by combining network and automated content analysis. The full article with all findings is now available online (open access).
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.