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Science communication and mediatised environmental conflict: a cautionary tale

Konkes, C ORCID: 0000-0003-0847-0763 and Foxwell-Norton, K 2021 , 'Science communication and mediatised environmental conflict: a cautionary tale' , Public Understanding of Science , pp. 1-14 , doi: 10.1177/0963662520985134.

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Abstract

When Australian physicist, Peter Ridd, lost his tenured position with James Cook University, he was called a ‘whistleblower’, ‘contrarian academic’ and ‘hero of climate science denial’. In this article, we examine the events surrounding his dismissal to better understand the role of science communication in organised climate change scepticism. We discuss the sophistry of his complaint to locate where and through what processes science communication becomes political communication. We argue that the prominence of scientists and scientific knowledge in debates about climate change locates science, as a social sphere or fifth pillar in Hutchins and Lester’s theory of mediatised environmental conflict. In doing so, we provide a model to better understand how science communication can be deployed during politicised debates.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Konkes, C and Foxwell-Norton, K
Keywords: communication studies, science communication, media studies, climate change, Great Barrier Reef
Journal or Publication Title: Public Understanding of Science
Publisher: Sage Publications Ltd.
ISSN: 1361-6609
DOI / ID Number: 10.1177/0963662520985134
Copyright Information:

© The Author(s) 2021

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