Archive: April 2018



Workshop on Communicating the Science of Climate Change


April 30, 2018

As many of us know, one of the biggest challenges with working on climate change is that the topic includes some highly technical data that can be difficult to communicate. After the last Federation Meeting on April 30, 2018, a two hour workshop was conducted by the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science to enable FCWC members and other interested conservationists to improve their skills in communicating the science of climate change to mixed audiences. 


The meeting was well attended, with more than 50 participants from several groups represented. Elizabeth Bojsza and Dr. Todd Newman conducted the session which involved breakout sessions in communication, group exercises and formal presentations of effective communication strategies. Feedback from the workshop was very positive and attendees had the opportunity to network with conservationists from around Westchester County.


About the Alan Alda Center: "The Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science empowers scientists and others to communicate complex topics in clear, vivid, and engaging ways; leading to improved understanding by the public, elected officials, and others outside of their own discipline. The Center was formally established in 2009 with support from Stony Brook University, Stony Brook School of Journalism, Brookhaven National Laboratory, and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and is located at Stony Brook University on Long Island, New York. Training methodologies are inspired by the empathy, clarity, and vivid storytelling brought to life by Alan Alda and hundreds of experts on the PBS television show Scientific American Frontiers."

Interested in new ways to think about climate change communication? Here are a couple of ideas (via the Alan Alda Center):

  • "The person trying to communicate has to listen even better than the person who's listening. They're listening to find out what they need to say, and how they need to say it." - "Alan Alda and His Scientific Universe" by Ellen Wexler

  • "Comedy allows an audience to have an emotional response without feeling the tragedy of a changing world. 'A lot of coverage of climate change is doomsday-ey, and that's inaccessible for children-it's all conceptual, or it's sad,' said O'Brien. 'So for a child, you have to access that joy and that humor to understand what it is you're trying to get across to them.'" - "Did You Hear the One About the NASA Scientist Who Makes Global Warming Funny?" by Katharine Gammon