Engaging the Public and Policymakers

University of Maine

Climate Change Institute

Tuesday, May 14 – Friday, May 17

9am – 12pm and 1pm – 3pm

This course is free and open to any campus participant.

To register for the course, e-mail a2c2igert@umit.maine.edu.

This four-day workshop introduces scientists, engineers, social scientists and related professionals to research and strategies for more effectively engaging the public and policymakers on sustainability-related issues. Participants will be introduced to different schools of thought, modes of practice, and areas of research relevant to navigating the intersections among science, policy, and communication.  They will also gain an integrated understanding of the institutions, organizations, and actors involved in public communication and policymaker engagement; and the different roles they can play as experts, professionals and educators. Blending seminar-style discussion with strategic exercises and scenario building, the workshop will focus on common themes and linkages relative to debates over climate change, energy technologies, marine and environmental conservation, food biotechnology, aquaculture, and other issues.

Preparing for the Workshop

Approximately 25 graduate students, faculty and staff are registered for the workshop, reflecting a diverse set of fields and disciplines including climate science, ecology, marine science, civil engineering, journalism, communication, and economics.  This diversity will provide a rich context for discussion, the sharing of ideas, and collaboration.  The first three days of the workshop build toward the final day in which we will think through and discuss  examples of possible interdisciplinary programs, partnerships and activities that engage state, national and international publics, stakeholders and decision-makers.

Click on a day and topic below to find a reading list, related videos and discussion questions.  In preparing for each morning or afternoon session, make sure to carefully read at least 2-3 of the assigned readings and to skim the others.  The great majority of readings are only a few pages in length. Most importantly, think in advance about each of the relevant discussion questions.  For Day 2 Wednesday, make sure to come prepared with a draft “message box” specific to your research or issues that you work on.

Workshop Schedule

DAY 1 TUES:

EXPERTS  IN THE DECISION-MAKING PROCESS & MODELS OF SCIENCE COMMUNICATION

DAY 2 WED:

WORKING WITH A DIVERSITY OF PUBLICS & FRAMING YOUR MESSAGE

DAY 3 THURS:

NAVIGATING THE NEW MEDIA ECOSYSTEM & WRITING FOR SOCIAL MEDIA

DAY 4 FRI:

BUILDING A CIVIC SCIENCE NETWORK & BRINGING THE WORLD TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MAINE

 

General Resources