Climatic Change

, 108:701 | Cite as

Applying the science of communication to the communication of science

  • Baruch FischhoffEmail author

Imagine a world in which social and decision scientists control the communication of climate science. Before creating messages, they look at the sky, hold a wet finger to the wind, glance at a weather map, and listen to a bit of talk radio. Having assessed what people need to know about climate, they draft theoretically sound messages, then subject them to rigorous empirical testing.

Their theoretical analysis of what to say and how to say it draws on the vast research literatures regarding risk perception and communication, science education, judgment and decision making, literacy, numeracy, emotion, social norms, and behavior change (e.g., Fischhoff 2009, 2010; Fischhoff and Kadvany 2011; Gardner and Stern 2002; National Research Council 1989; O’Hagan et al. 2006; Plous 1993; Politi et al. 2007; Slovic 2001, 2010; vonWinterfeldt and Edwards 1986), as well as the more modest literatures focused on climate (e.g., Bostrom et al. 1994; Fischhoff 1981, 2007; Fischhoff and Furby 1983;...


Climate Science Center Staff Civilian Casualty Criminal Intelligence Communication Advisory Committee 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Preparation of this paper was partially supported by the US National Science Foundation (SES-0949710).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Social and Decision SciencesCarnegie Mellon UniversityPittsburghUSA

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