Distrust of climate scientists is growing
A growing number of people in the UK do not trust climate scientists to tell the truth about climate change. This is one of many startling findings from a report published today (28th September 2012) by the Living With Environmental Change Partnership.
The report also finds that the UK public's belief in the seriousness of climate change has decreased over the past five years and fewer people are therefore prepared to take action to prevent it.
The lead author of "Climate Science, the Public and the News Media", Emily Shuckburgh, herself a climate scientist, says,
" Actually going out and meeting people in focus groups was really valuable for me personally. I learnt a lot about how people make sense of news stories about climate change and how all sorts of influences affect how they weigh up the evidence. Many of those factors are outside the control of the person communicating, however, it was clear that there are some very straightforward things scientists can do to make what they say easier to understand and evaluate."
The report goes on to make some practical suggestions both for climate scientists and for media professionals on how to put the subject across more engagingly and effectively.
These include a call for more open and transparent dialogues between scientists and the public and better ways of communicating scientific uncertainty.
The report is published on the Living With Environmental Change Website at: http://www.lwec.org.uk/publications/climate-science-public-and-news-media or attached below.
And a short video (3'42) of Emily presenting the report and talking about what she learned from it is also available.