Division 2: Environment, Science and Risk Communication

About the division

The Division of Environment, Science and Risk Communication highlights how topics related to the environment, science and risks are debated, represented and contested in the contemporary media environment. 

This year’s conference theme, risk and resilience, resonates strongly with the division’s general themes. As current events around climate change and global infectious diseases poignantly illustrate, the actors involved in the media environment, and the scientific and environmental topics discussed in the media are becoming increasingly complex and interdependent. This places significant pressure on the establishments of media, science and medicine to produce fast and reliable information. This demand also renders the established forms of scientific information vulnerable to scepticism and criticism from various actors. Ongoing political polarization further complicates this development. Additional challenges are posed by increasing numbers of citizen engagement in the scientific and environmental debate, that raise legitimate concerns about issues related to science, environment and technology, but can simultaneously spread mistrust and harmful disinformation. 

The division welcomes contributions that present research on how media represent, frame or construct scientific and environmental issues, and studies on communicative practices amongst and between stakeholders, political actors and media actors/institutions about topics related to the environment, science and risk. We also welcome contributions with a focus on citizen engagements, democracy and power in environmental and scientific communication, as well as studies of public perceptions of science, risk and environment-related topics. 

Interdisciplinary contributions are welcome, as well as contributions from a wide range of methodological and theoretical perspectives. We especially welcome contributions that address the theme of the conference and discuss present challenges to or challenge key ideas from the fields of environment, science and risk communication. 

The division accepts full papers, extended abstracts, panel presentations and workshops. Each paper and extended abstract will be appointed a discussant, but we strongly encourage participants to read each other’s papers to ensure constructive and informed discussion.

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