4304 Between Sound Bites and the Scientific Paper: Communicating in the Hinterland

Saturday, February 19, 2011: 9:00 AM
147A (Washington Convention Center )
Gavin Schmidt , NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, New York City, NY
Between the soundbite and scientific paper is a hinterland of communication that is only sparsely populated by scientists or other knowledgable people. Instead, in climate science it is dominated by commentators who are enthusiastic but often times ill-informed about the process of and the progress in the science. The conversations in this hinterland are often dominated by faux controversies whipped up in partisan think tanks, and are often overly focused on the latest 'hot' result to the detriment of an appreciation of the fuller context. That context can only be communicated by the scientific community, and yet the number of voices providing that perspective is a tiny fraction of the potential pool. I will discuss why this occurs, what it means for a fuller public understanding of climate science and what the community might be able to do to incentivize excursions into this 'no-scientists' land.
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