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Evaluating effective public engagement: local stories from a global network of IPCC scientists

Pidcock, Rosalind, Heath, Kate, Messling, Lydia, Wang, Susie, Pirani, Anna, Connors, Sarah, Corner, Adam, Shaw, Christopher and Gomis, Melissa 2021. Evaluating effective public engagement: local stories from a global network of IPCC scientists. Climatic Change 168 (3-4) , 21. 10.1007/s10584-021-03230-w

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An integral part of the communications strategy for Working Group I (WGI) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is to support its authors, in all geographical regions, to engage a diverse range of audiences with climate change. Building upon a Communications Handbook for IPCC authors and a bespoke photo library, both produced by Climate Outreach for WGI in 2018 ahead of the Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5C, this paper describes the findings of a global survey that gathered practical examples of efforts by WGI authors to engage non-specialist audiences around the world with climate change. A total of 107 survey responses from 44 countries were evaluated against a theoretical framework outlining key principles of effective public engagement drawn from the social science literature. Ideas for how climate scientists can enhance their communication efforts are discussed, illustrated with case studies drawn from the survey responses showing WGI authors using creative techniques to engage people with climate change, including in Senegal, Argentina, India, the Bahamas and Indonesia. This is followed by guidance for the IPCC on developing communications strategies in a way that gives climate scientists confidence to communicate their work and promotes evidence-based techniques. By critically reflecting on the communication practices within the IPCC’s global author network, the paper provides insights and recommendations on how to continue to strengthen the connection between the theory and practice of climate science communication.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Publisher: Springer
ISSN: 0165-0009
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 2 November 2021
Date of Acceptance: 24 September 2021
Last Modified: 04 Nov 2021 11:00

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