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, Technological Takeover? Social and Cultural implications – promises and pitfalls, resonates strongly with the division’s general themes. As current events related to breakthroughs in artificial intelligence and datafication of society poignantly illustrate, communicating about and analyzing complex sociotechnical phenomena continues to be at the forefront of science and risk communication. Simultaneously, the environmental impact of material progress is becoming inescapable, as environmental degradation advances on global and local levels. This places significant pressure on the establishments of media, and all scientific disciplines to produce fast and reliable information. This demand also renders the established forms of scientific information vulnerable to skepticism 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 all division participants to read each other’s papers to ensure constructive and informed discussion.

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