FLAWS IN ‘DISSEMINATION’
Pushing’ research evidence gets us only so far.
Linear approaches to evidence have a long history but they severe limitation.
by Anna Hopkins
Published by: Environmental Communication, (2017) 11(6), 723–730
This paper challenges the centrality of consensus within public discourse about climate change, and highlights how consensus remains elusive for several key climate policy issues.
The authors argue that argue that repeated efforts to shore up the scientific consensus on minimalist claims such as “humans cause global warming” are distractions from more urgent matters of knowledge, values, policy framing and public engagement. Such efforts to force policy progress through communicating scientific consensus misunderstand the relationship between scientific knowledge, publics and policymakers. More important is to focus on genuinely controversial issues within climate policy debates where expertise might play a facilitating role. Mobilizing expertise in policy debates calls for judgment, context and attention to diversity, rather than deferring to formal quantifications of narrowly scientific claims.
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