Toward Consensus on the Climate Communication Challenge
Author(s): Tom Bowman
On October 26–27, 2015, a meeting was held at the American Association for the Advancement of Science headquarters in Washington, DC to discuss the state of research into public attitudes and behavior about climate change. Participants included social science researchers who study public opinion and behavior about climate change (researchers) and those who fund, design, and execute public engagement, informal education, and communication initiatives (practitioners). This report summarizes the conclusions expressed by the participants. While there is broad agreement about the main points offered in this report, there are some areas in which experts disagree. This report does not attempt to summarize the published work of the participants or of the field in general.
The dialogue was organized around three broad questions:
1. Where does expert opinion among social scientists converge and where do important gaps remain in our knowledge?
2. How can practitioners improve public engagement strategies, tactics, and outcomes based on the knowledge held by social science experts?
3. What obstacles to effective public engagement could potentially be removed going forward?
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