Methodological clarity required when publishing social science in natural science journals

This is a joint post with Greg Hollin. The latest issue of Nature Climate Change features a Correspondence from Peter Jacobs and colleagues which concerns a recent Letter that appeared in the same journal; our Reply is also published. We do not wish to deny that there are real and significant differences between ourselves and …

The crucial role of culture in climate change

On Wednesday, I attended the US Ambassador’s ‘digital dialogue’ event on climate change at Winfield House, where policy wonks, journalists, NGO representatives and academics discussed their current hopes and frustrations. Beyond the usual grumbles about ‘bogus arguments’ against climate action, it was pleasing that some attendees outside of the social sciences chose to highlight the key role of cultural …

Improving climate change communications: moving beyond scientific certainty

This is a co-authored post with Gregory Hollin. It is based upon our new paper in Nature Climate Change, which is the first piece of original research from science and technology studies (STS) published in the journal. In the last 25 years scientists have become increasingly certain that humans are responsible for changes to the …

Tracking fluctuations in climate change debates

Our ESRC funded project on climate change is coming to an end soon and we are just starting to prepare our end of award conference in Amsterdam. As part of our project we intended to monitor and describe fluctuations in debates about climate change. This aim overlaps with that of a project within the Leverhulme …

Amelia Sharman audio & Prezi: Mapping the climate sceptical blogosphere

Amelia Sharman gave a seminar last week ‘Mapping the Climate Sceptical Blogosphere’ to the Institute for Science and Society, as part of Making Science Public’s month of climate change lectures. Amelia discussed her methods for determining which blogs were most central to those amongst what can (loosely) be called a climate sceptic community, and the …

Global warming is dead, long live global heating?

This post emerged from a weekend conversation between Mike Hulme, Brigitte Nerlich and Warren Pearce. It is also available as a pdf. There has been a lot of talk recently about a so-called ‘pause’ or ‘hiatus’ in global warming. Some argue that it poses a serious challenge to established climate science and may undermine its …

More heat than light? Climate catastrophe and the Hiroshima bomb

There has been some discussion on Twitter today (14 August) about the wisdom or otherwise of measuring the heat being retained by the Earth in terms of Hiroshima bombs. The analogy is presented by John Cook and Dana Nuccitelli on their Skeptical Science blog, drawing on an academic paper by Church et al to describe the heat …

Debating empty chairs: creationism, climate and public engagement

This week, Making Science Public has been very proud to welcome US film director Jeff Tamblyn during his UK visit. On Wednesday we screened his amazing film, Kansas vs Darwin, a documentary charting the attempts by members of the Kansas School Board to introduce creationism and intelligent design into high school science teaching. The film …

Public understanding of climate change: The deficit fallacy

At the end of February the House of Commons Science and Technology Select Committee launched an inquiry into public understanding of climate change and its implications for policy. The STSC asks for written submissions on various questions, such as: What is the current state of public understanding of what is meant by climate change? How …