Mass media serve vital roles in communication processes between science, policy and the public, and often stitch together perceptions, intentions, considerations, and actions regarding climate change. Many dynamic, contested and complex factors contribute to how media outlets portray various facets of climate change.
This talk will touch on salient and swirling contextual factors as well as competing journalistic pressures and norms that contribute to how issues, events and information have often become climate ‘news’. Dr Boykoff will specifically focus attention on how particular problems and snags in the web of interaction between science, media, policy and the public have contributed to critical misperceptions, misleading debates, and divergent understandings – that are detrimental to efforts that seek to enlarge rather than constrict the spectrum of possibility for responses to climate challenges. Finally, he will work to situate these dynamics in the context of a wider ‘cultural politics of climate change’, where formal climate science and governance link with people’s everyday activities in the public sphere.
The talk will be followed by a short drinks reception. Registration is not required but would be very helpful!
Maxwell T. Boykoff is a former James Martin Fellow.
He is currently an Assistant Professor in the Center for Science and Technology Policy, which is part of the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences at the University of Colorado-Boulder. He teaches in the Environmental Studies program and is Adjunct faculty in the Geography Department. In addition, Dr Boykoff is a Senior Visiting Research Associate in the Environmental Change Institute at the University of Oxford. He holds a Ph.D. in Environmental Studies from the University of California-Santa Cruz and Bachelor of Sciences in Psychology from The Ohio State University. Dr Boykoff has ongoing interests in climate adaptation, cultural politics and environmental governance, science-policy interactions, and political economy and the environment, and he has experience working in North America, Central America, South Asia and Europe. From 2006-2009, Dr Boykoff was a James Martin Fellow at the Environmental Change Institute, a founding member of the Oxford Martin School.
He will be speaking mainly on themes taken up in the forthcoming (in Sept 2011) monograph 'Who Speaks for Climate? Making sense of media reporting on climate change' (Cambridge University Press). Among his other writings are the co-edited and edited volumes 'Contentious Geographies' (2008), 'The Politics of Climate Change' (2009) and 'The New Carbon Economy: Constitution, Governance and Contestation' (forthcoming in 2012). Dr Boykoff's research has been mentioned in a range of outlets such as Science, Nature, the Guardian, the New York Times, Columbia Journalism Review, the Los Angeles Times, and (US) National Public Radio. He has also appeared on CNN International and France24 television.