Climate Change on the Bathroom Wall: How Vice, BuzzFeed and the Huffington Post report on environmental issues

This is guest post by Mike S. Schäfer, Professor of Science Communication at the Institute of Mass Communication and Media Research (IPMZ) and Director of the Center for Higher Education and Science Studies at the University of Zürich, Switzerland. This article was first published in the European Journalism Observatory, Dec 14, 2016. *** Shouting protesters …

Broken science, broken record?

The phrase ‘science is broken’ recently popped back into my head. I had read it quite often in the past, but in the context of current debates about the place of science in society I began to ask myself: What does this phrase actually mean? And why do people use it? ‘Science is broken’ To …

Science, utility and responsibility

The value of science for society and the role of scientists in society has been debated for a long time (and in this context the word ‘science’ generally refers to the natural, physical, biological sciences). Just recently the topic has crept up on us yet again. Some have argued that, in the context of climate …

The meanings of climate

This is a guest post by Martin Mahony (British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow and Nottingham Research Fellow, School of Geography) announcing a public lecture. The lecture sounds really interesting. Unfortunately, I am away and can’t got to it, but I hope that lots of others will be able to attend! *** What do we talk about …

Climate, science and politics: The certainty and consensus confusion

In this, my probably final, blog post on climate change, I’ll return to a topic that has troubled me for many years, namely religious rhetoric used in debates about climate change science and climate change politics. The terrain between climate change science and climate change politics has become a bit of a swamp and the …

Flooding and ‘the Dutch solution’

Some years ago, in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy in 2012, US news media featured Dutch-style flood management as one of the engineering solutions that may prevent future devastating flooding in the regions affected. The same happened after the winter floods in the south of UK at the beginning of 2014 and similar references are …

Climate science and climate fiction: Alarmist, really?

For more than 25 years, climate scientists have warned politicians and the general public about the dangers posed by global warming. Sometimes they have been listened to; more often then not they have been accused of alarmism. For more than a century, novelists and film makers have explored the possible, often catastrophic and dystopian, effects …

COP21: A new chance for common sense and common action?

Professor Michael Brüggemann and his research team at the University of Hamburg have set up a blog called Media Watch Blog. This blog will report on the Paris climate summit, COP21, as it unfolds. Here is my contribution to the blog, reposted below in a slightly longer version. ••• The 2015 United Nations Climate Change …