Communication, Media & Politics in a Risk Society

Shifting Ideas, Shifting Opinion, Shifting Policy
Author Archive
Science celebrities are our de facto science laureates

Science celebrities are our de facto science laureates

Declan Fahy, American University A bill to create a US science laureate is pending in Congress. Climate skeptics reportedly derailed a previous proposal in 2013, fearing President Obama would appoint a scientist who shared his policy goal to curb greenhouse gases. Akin to the poet laureate position, the honorary one-year laureate appointment would give a...
Health Communication: 2nd Short Analysis Paper

Health Communication: 2nd Short Analysis Paper

Choose 1 of the following 2 questions to answer.  Your essay should be approximately 2,000 words in length, drawing specifically on class readings and discussion as evidence and to inform your analysis.  Use APA citation style for all references. Your essay is due to me by email at m.nisbet@neu.edu by 5pm on Friday March 27....
Environmental Communication: 2nd Short Analysis Paper

Environmental Communication: 2nd Short Analysis Paper

Choose 1 of the following 2 questions to answer.  Your essay should be approximately 2,000 words in length, drawing specifically on class readings and discussion as evidence and to inform your analysis.  Use APA citation style for all references. Your essay is due to me by email at m.nisbet@neu.edu by 5pm on Friday March 27. 1) Describe briefly...
Our partisan brains: The psychology of why liberals and conservatives deny science

Our partisan brains: The psychology of why liberals and conservatives deny science

By Erik C Nisbet, The Ohio State University and R. Kelly Garrett, The Ohio State University Senator Inhofe (R-Okla.) pitched a snowball on the floor of the United States Senate last month. This was his way of disputing that 2014 was the warmest year on earth and that human-caused climate change is happening. Inhofe’s beliefs...
Boom in solar and natural gas both driven by government investment in innovation

Boom in solar and natural gas both driven by government investment in innovation

By Frank Jossi, reposted from Ensia.com. March 9, 2015 — On the outskirts of downtown St. Paul, Minn., Xcel Energy’s High Bridge Generating Station offers an iconic view of the current state of electrical generation in the United States. Opened in 2008 as a replacement for an aging coal plant, the 534-megawatt natural gas facility...
Pumping CO2 underground can help fight climate change. Why is it stuck in second gear?

Pumping CO2 underground can help fight climate change. Why is it stuck in second gear?

By Howard J. Herzog, Massachusetts Institute of Technology There are many uncertainties with respect to global climate change, but there is one thing about which I have no doubts: we will not solve climate change by running out of fossil fuels. Understanding this leads to three possible pathways we can follow to lower greenhouse gas...
Anthropocene began with species exchange between Old and New Worlds

Anthropocene began with species exchange between Old and New Worlds

By Simon Lewis, UCL and Mark Maslin, UCL Time is divided by geologists according to marked shifts in the Earth’s state. Human activity has clearly altered the land surface, oceans and atmosphere, and re-ordered life on Earth. This suggests that the planet has entered a new human-dominated geological epoch, called the Anthropocene. However there has...
Inside America’s science lobby: What motivates AAAS members to engage the public?

Inside America’s science lobby: What motivates AAAS members to engage the public?

Workshops that teach scientists about public communication and advocacy are growing in popularity. Career ambition rather than politics appears to be a main motivation behind scientists’ desire to engage the public. SISSA, CC BY-NC At their annual meetings last month, leaders of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) urged their members to...
Let’s call it: 30 years of above average temperatures means the climate has changed

Let’s call it: 30 years of above average temperatures means the climate has changed

Photo credit: andrea zeppilli, CC BY-NC-SA By Richard B Rood, University of Michigan If you’re younger than 30, you’ve never experienced a month in which the average surface temperature of the Earth was below average. Each month, the US National Climatic Data Center calculates Earth’s average surface temperature using temperature measurements that cover the Earth’s surface....