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School of Communications

Communicating Climate Change and Sustainability

Celsius Science//Society seminar,

DCU in conjunction with QUB,

March 5th 2015

DCU Innovation Campus, Glasnevin 

*NB This event is not being held at the main DCU Campus. Please click for the map to the DCU Innovation Campus 

Abstract

In the two decades since climate change first came to prominence as an issue of public, policy and academic concern, media interest has shifted focus from apocalyptic stories of environmental doom and images of stranded polar bears, to hotly-contested debates about climate science and the so-called ‘Climate Wars’ which cast doubt on scientific knowledge and climate scientists.

Now, with successive IPCC reports highlighting the scientific certainty about anthropogenic climate change and as we approach the deadline for international agreement on carbon emissions at Paris in December 2015, there is greater attention on the wider socio-cultural and political implications of this global challenge. Increasingly, public discussion about climate change involves ideas about climate resilience, climate adaptation or clean energy as well as new technologies and ways of living to assist the transition to future environmental sustainability.

The next phase of understanding the climate change problem raises novel challenges for science, society and communicators. It will require transformations in public policy, practices and expectations of the good life and will involve new ways of thinking about governance, everyday lifestyles, business and innovation. This seminar – a collaboration between Celsius (DCU) and Queens University Belfast (QUB) – explores the possible academic and practitioner approaches to communicating climate change and sustainability. It investigates the potential openings and closures for public engagement with environmental sustainability and climate change and it asks how can communications research from across disciplines shed light on the opportunities and challenges for practitioners and policy-makers. In doing so, it hopes to encourage academic and practitioner conversation across research approaches from both social and physical sciences.

The panel discussions will focus on four themes underpinning the multi-disciplinary ethos of the seminar:

Panel 1: A Weather Eye on Climate Change: Meteorologists Taking the Long View
Panel 2: Communicating Climate Change and Sustainability from the Social Sciences & Humanities
Panel 3: Visualising Climate Change
Panel 4: Communicating Climate Change and Sustainability to Policy

Round Table:

The concluding session, chaired by Professor John Barry, will draw the key themes of the seminar together, with a discussion on Policy, Media, Uncertainty and Complexity

Invited Speakers include:

Professor Ray Bates: Meteorologist

Gerald Fleming: RTE’s longest-serving weather broadcaster
Dr Saffron O’Neill: Social scientist, researching social dimensions of climate change
Dr Cara Augustenborg: Al Gore's Climate Leadership Corps
Dr Julie Doyle: Social scientist, Author, Mediating Climate Change
Professor Barry McMullin: An Taisce; Executive Dean Faculty of Engineering & Computing, DCU

Programme Schedule

Research seminar Panel 1: MORNING 

9.15        A Weather Eye on Climate Change: Meteorologists Taking the Long View
Anthropogenic climate change: planetary emergency or long-term threat?
Professor Ray Bates, Meteorology and Climate Centre, University College Dublin

Communicating Climate Change & Sustainability from Meteorology & Weather Forecasting
Gerald Fleming, Weather Broadcaster, RTE
Chair/respondent: Brian Trench, President, Public Communication of Science and Technology

Short Coffee/Tea Break 10.55-11.15

Research seminar Panel 2: MORNING

11:15     Communicating Climate Change and Sustainability from the Social Sciences & Humanities

Framing the IPCC: Media coverage and framing of the Fifth Assessment Report
Dr Saffron O’Neill, Senior Lecturer in Human Geography, University of Exeter

Media & Carbon Literacy:  Mapping Irish Media Coverage of Low Carbon Transition
B McNally, PhD Candidate, School of Communications, DCU

Irish Media Coverage of Climate Change: EPA-funded project
Dr Padraig Murphy, Programme Chair, MSc in Science Communication, DCU

Communicating Climate Change: Educational Challenges & Challenges for Education
T Hume, PhD Candidate, School of Politics, International Studies and Philosophy, QUB

‘Whatever You Say, Say Climate Change: Energy scarcity, climate change and the systematic distortion of communication’
W Foord, PhD Candidate, School of Politics, International Studies and Philosophy, QUB
Chair/respondent: Dr Padraig Murphy, Coordinator, Celsius Research Group

Lunch: 1-2pm

 Research seminar Panel 3: AFTERNOON

2:00        Communicating Climate Change and Sustainability to Policy

Climate Change Strategy + Human Rights = Climate Justice? Questioning The Mary Robinson Formula
Ben Christman, PhD Candidate, School of Law, Queen’s University Belfast

Local Energy transitions: Lessons from The Gambia
Anne Schiffer, PhD Candidate, School of Politics, International Studies and Philosophy, QUB

Climate Reality: Communicating climate change to the next generation
Dr Cara Augustenborg, Lecturer Climate Change and Environment, University College Dublin
Chair/respondent: Dr Ian Hughes, Innovation Policy Specialist

Research seminar Panel 4: AFTERNOON

3:15        Visualising Climate Change and Sustainability
Imag(in)ing climate: creative conversations and collaborative communications
Dr Julie Doyle, Reader in Media Studies, University of Brighton Faculty of Arts

Environmental Ethics and Film
Dr Pat Brereton, Head of School, School of Communications, DCU
Chair/respondent: Dr Padraig Murphy, Coordinator, Celsius Research Group

Short Coffee/Tea Break 4.15-4.30

Evening Roundtable

4.30        Policy, media, uncertainty and complexity
David Dodd, Research Unit, Environmental Protection Agency
Dr. Diarmuid Torney, Lecturer, School of Law & Government, DCU
Dr Cara Augustenborg, Lecturer Climate Change and Environment, University College Dublin
Dr Padraig Murphy, Celsius
Professor Barry McMullin, Chair of the An Taisce  Climate Change Committee            
Chair/respondent: Chair: John Gormley, Former Irish Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government