One of the many privileges of holding a Professorship at the University of Hamburg and being involved in the Cluster of Excellence, which unites researchers from different disciplines around the issue of climate change (see CLICCS website ), is that you have the opportunity to meet and have lunch with highly inspiring and thought-provoking people such as Hans von Storch.
As natural scientists, we hopefully learn multiple concepts about uncertainty throughout our education and research, and, at some point, the time will come when we need to put them into practice. This post comes from the necessity of a first approach to assemble some of the multiple guidelines and recommendations that we receive regarding climate change communication. I am not referring particularly to the topic of communication in newspapers or TV, but to a much more mundane request. In this case, my goal is to have a structured set of rules or steps that a natural scientist working on climate change can follow when trying to address a day-to-day conversation on the topic.
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).
As a scientist, when reading the “Scientists For Future” statement supporting the Fridays for Future protest marches, my initial response was disappointment. The statement uses an extremely basic language to summarize the demands of the Paris Agreement, and the key steps necessary to avoid the most perilous climate change hazards. There is nothing innovative, provocative or unexpected about this statement. Thus, I was very doubtful about its effectiveness. Continue reading Science For Dummies
Today, I went to the streets with my ten-year-old son. It was his first protest march, and my second. We went with his elementary school class, loudly shouting: “don’t steal our future!” And while German politicians claim that they understand the children’s concerns, they also claim, more or less implicitly, that the children do not really get the complexities of politics and should “leave it to the professionals”. Continue reading Public protests “for future” as part of citizenship – children and scientists included
As a former journalist I have always had an appreciation for the value of the written word. I have also always considered it an honour and a privilege to be published. I regarded authors to be the rightful owners of their text. In my world, you may give away texts as a present to your friends or to the scientific community or you may sell them. My idea of fair publishing did not include having to pay a private company to get published whilst losing the copyright of my work. Continue reading My journey towards fair open access book publishing
In his column “On the subject” for the Deutsche Klima Konsortium (DKK), Prof. Dr. Michael Brüggemann presents six theses for a constructive climate communication. You can find the complete editorial here (in German only).
The Food Project is a multidisciplinary endeavor at Hamburg University, funded by KNU with seed money, bringing together collaborating researchers from various disciplines to examine the relay and utilization of a critical issue like sustainable food practices in the public sphere.
At the University of Hamburg, researchers from the disciplines of Journalism and Communication Studies, Sociology, Economics and Linguistics are engaged in conducting pilot experiments. They are joined by a researcher from the University of Graz, Austria to examine the topic within the area of Social Geography.
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.
In the ancient mythical saga Ulysses, sirens were beautiful creatures with enchanting voices who would lure sailors to shipwreck on the rocky coast of their island with their sweet intoxicating music.
Ulyses, curious to hear the the siren’s song, ordered his men to bind him to the mast. He implored the crew, who had their ears plugged with wax, to leave him tied tightly to the mast, no matter how much he would beg. Upon hearing the sirens’ beautiful melody, Ulysses urged the sailors to untie him but they instead bound him tighter. The ship then navigated the narrow channel to safety: Ulysses actions had saved the lives of himself and the crew.