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Making Climate-Science Communication Evidence-Based — All the Way Down

Culture, Politics and Climate Change (eds. M. Boykoff & D. Crow, Routledge Press, 2014 Forthcoming)

19 Pages Posted: 14 Feb 2013 Last revised: 16 Jul 2014

Dan M. Kahan

Yale University - Law School

Date Written: February 13, 2013

Abstract

Scientists and science communicators have appropriately turned to the science of science communication for guidance in overcoming public conflict over climate change. The value of the knowledge that this science can impart, however, depends on it being used scientifically. It is a mistake to believe that either social scientists or science communicators can intuit effective communication strategies by simply consulting compendiums of psychological mechanisms. Social scientists have used empirical methods to identify which of the myriad mechanisms that could plausibly be responsible for public conflict over climate change actually are. Science communicators should now use valid empirical methods to identify which plausible real-world strategies for counteracting those mechanisms actually work. Collaboration between social scientists and communicators on evidence-based field experiments is the best means of using and expanding our knowledge of how to communicate climate science.

Keywords: climate change,cultural cognition, motivated reasoning, decision science, science communication

Suggested Citation

Kahan, Dan M., Making Climate-Science Communication Evidence-Based — All the Way Down (February 13, 2013). Culture, Politics and Climate Change (eds. M. Boykoff & D. Crow, Routledge Press, 2014 Forthcoming). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2216469 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2216469

Dan Kahan (Contact Author)

Yale University - Law School ( email )

P.O. Box 208215
New Haven, CT 06520-8215
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.culturalcognition.net/kahan

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