The Role of the Scientist in PromotingPublic Awareness of the Climate ChangeConsensus

Athanasios Kandylas, Ingmar Valdemarson á Løgmansbø, Zsa-Zsa Sophie Oona Ophelia Rugaard-Morgan & Theodora Chrysoulidou

Student thesis: Basic Project


The effectiveness of the climate change communication to the public is a topic of great con-cern in the last decades. Although there is a high level of consensus among the scientificcommunity on anthropogenic activity as the driving force of climate change, it is not ade-quately reflected in the public’s perception. The dissemination of scientific information onclimate change includes many interacting intermediates, and can distort the informationthat the public receives. The analysis of this report is based on a four-part framework ofthe current information landscape, which includes the scientific community, disinformationcampaigns, the media and the public. After identifying the particular challenges of eachaspect, this project presents their overlaps and interconnections, summing them up intosix main themes. More precisely, the implications of the way debates on scientific mattersare conducted, the degree of advocacy aversion, the connection to values and emotionsand the level of internal strategic organization, both by the scientists and disinformantsare discussed. Furthermore, the impact of ideological polarization on public’s perception ofanthropogenic climate change is examined, as well as factors that hinder public outreach.Finally, mitigating responses are proposed to assist the scientific community in tackling thesechallenges to approach the public in a more efficient way. Emphasizing the need to organizein a strategic way, there is a need to adopt similar tactics as those which have been used tomisinform people, but rather to inform.

EducationsBasic - International Bachelor Study Program in Natural Sciences, (Bachelor Programme) Basic
Publication date2018
Number of pages60
SupervisorsFarhan Khan