‘Communicating Climate Science’ On January 26

January 24, 2023 | 1 Comment

Global Warming Climate Change January 2023

Bermuda Environmental Sustainability Taskforce [BEST] and Bermuda College will be hosting an Eco Lunch & Learn presentation on Thursday [Jan 26] from 1.00pm to 2.00pm.

A spokesperson said, “The community are invited to attend our first Eco Lunch & Learn presentation of 2023. The presentation is free and no registration is required. On Thursday, January 26th, Dr. Rosemarie McMahon will show you how to communicate and improve understanding of complex issues such as climate change and to your audiences.”

Dr. McMahon explains, “The advantages of communication, is widely acknowledged and a large body of research has shown that the appropriate application of communication can affect how content is perceived and used.

“The outstanding question for communication experts is how to improve the public’s understanding of complex information, such as climate change, and this has motivated a number of studies that are discussed in this presentation.

“Still, we understand very little about how climate science is comprehended and used in the decision process. In fact, some of the communication approaches used by scientists can unintentionally mislead and misinform. There are a number of important lessons we can extract from these studies and apply in the context of climate education and outreach.”

The spokesperson said, “Dr. Rosemarie McMahon is native of Ireland, and currently lives in Bermuda. She graduated in 1993 with an Honours B.Sc. in Earth Science and H. Dip in Computer Science from the University of Cork, Ireland. Thereafter, she held a number of positions in project management and consulting for international corporates.

“In 2011, she acquired a M.Sc. in Environmental Management from the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, USA. Thereafter, she was awarded a PhD from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich, Switzerland for her research in scientific visualization and climate communication.

“Her PhD was conducted at the Institute of Atmospheric and Climate Science, where she worked as a researcher. Currently, she is the Director Consultant of the Youth Climate Summit initiative, an education programme of the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute [BUEI].”

Amy Harvey, the Earth and Environmental Science lecturer at the Bermuda College, added, “Communicating effectively and in ways that the general public understands important scientific concepts, is proving to be more and more challenging.

“Added challenges of deciphering what is indeed fact versus fake news is an added layer of complexity. Often there are political agendas that can misconstrue the truth of the data, in particular, that related to climate change. Understanding which communication tools work best to relay climate science education will be key in ensuring more preventative action is carried out by the general public.”

Jennifer Flood, BEST Executive Officer, further added, “Why have climate science and climate change been such contentious topics? Over the past 100 years there have been similar situations – e.g. tobacco, glyphosate, food dyes, Covid – where scientists have shown, in the very early days of these disparate topics, the harm caused to humans and/or the environment.

“Why were they generally ignored by public and politicians alike? Was it poor communication? Manufacturers resorting to various tactics to discredit the science – hiding their own research, coercing or bribing scientists, aggressive advertising, and the lobbying of politicians. Climate change, though a global issue, proved no different, and even worse, became highly politicised.

“Documents recently obtained through Freedom of Information Acts have shown fossil fuel companies were well aware of the harmful effects on climate and environment. Climate deniers have been vociferous and persuasive. Why were they relatively successful when scientists have been speaking about and giving examples of changing climate for almost 50 years? Why did it take so long for this information to become generally accepted?”

“All this highlights the urgent need that those communicating climate change, need to know how to improve public understanding of this complex issue, which will bring irreversible changes to the planet without significant action by individuals and governments.”

The spokesperson said, “The community are invited to attend on Thursday, January 26th between 1:00 and 2:00pm, either in person at The Bermuda College, Room H100 or online on Facebook or on YouTube. The presentation is followed by a lively Q & A. If attending online, the audience is encouraged to submit their questions via the chat options on both YouTube and Facebook.”

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  1. Red Pill says:

    More gas lighting! SMH!

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