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Extramural Research

Grantee Research Project Results

Grantee Research Project Results

Communicating Global Climate Change: Investigating Message Strategies for Communicating the Impact of Global Climate Change.

EPA Grant Number: FP916954
Title: Communicating Global Climate Change: Investigating Message Strategies for Communicating the Impact of Global Climate Change.
Investigators: Hart, Philip Solomon
Institution: Cornell University
EPA Project Officer: Jones, Brandon
Project Period: September 1, 2008 through August 31, 2011
RFA: STAR Graduate Fellowships (2008)
Research Category: Academic Fellowships



A longstanding challenge for the scientific community and the government is how to communicate science to lay audiences - especially when science and policy discourse intersect. The proposed research examines how framing may effectively communicate the nature and impact of environmental issues to the lay audiences by specifically examining how global climate change can be effectively communicated to the public. The benefits include not only furthering our basic knowledge regarding framing dynamics but also providing actionable data on how scientists and government agencies such as the EPA may construct science-based messages about global climate change and other environmental issues for a variety of lay audiences.


Experimental and Survey

Expected Results:

The research program is designed to generate findings that provide specific guidance to science communicators and government officials on how to best communicate knowledge about global climate change and other environmental issues to diverse lay audiences. Beyond providing guidance on how to thematically communicate global climate change, the research program will provide insights on how to structure thematic messages. Specifically, the program will help identify whether it is most effective to use individual or group exemplars, exemplars that have a high degree of social identification with audiences, and exemplars that are portrayed as a beneficiary or victim. The framing strategies derived from this research program may be incorporated into the communication strategies used by government agencies such as the EPA, as well as used to develop informational materials for scientists and government officials who face the task of communicating with lay audiences about climate change. While the research discussed here is focused on communicating global climate change, it will also develop applications of framing theory that can be used for communication about almost any environmental issue.

Supplemental Keywords:

Environmental Communication, Risk Perception, Social Identity, Numeracy, Persuasion,, RFA, Air, climate change, Air Pollution Effects, Atmosphere

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The perspectives, information and conclusions conveyed in research project abstracts, progress reports, final reports, journal abstracts and journal publications convey the viewpoints of the principal investigator and may not represent the views and policies of ORD and EPA. Conclusions drawn by the principal investigators have not been reviewed by the Agency.

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