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date: 20 January 2021

Scientists’ Views about Public Engagement and Science Communication in the Context of Climate Changelocked

  • John BesleyJohn BesleyDepartment of Advertising and Public Relations, Michigan State University
  •  and Anthony DudoAnthony DudoUniversity of Texas at Austin

Summary

Scientists who study issues such as climate change are often called on by both their colleagues and broader society to share what they know and why it matters. Many are willing to do so—and do it well—but others are either unwilling or may communicate without clear goals or in ways that may fail to achieve their goals. There are several central topics involved in the study of scientists as communicators. First, it is important to understand the evolving arguments behind why scientists are being called on to get involved in public engagement about contentious issues such as climate change. Second, it is also useful to consider the factors that social science suggests actually lead scientists to communicate about scientific issues. Last, it is important to consider what scientists are trying to achieve through their communication activities, and to consider to what extent we have evidence about whether scientists are achieving their desired goals.

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