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The Nuclear Energy Debate -- Environmental Communication


Ulchin Nuclear Power Plant, South Korea -- Credit: IAEA Imagebank

Special Issue Call for Papers

Environmental Debates Over Nuclear Energy: Media, Communication, and the Public

Over recent decades, nuclear energy has evolved into a global controversy in which supporters and critics of the technology employ a variety of communication strategies to shape public opinion and influence societal decisions. In the aftermath of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident, studies and polling tracked a worldwide decline in public support for nuclear energy. More recently some Asian countries have pledged to ambitiously expand their reliance on nuclear energy, mainly for reasons of energy security and climate change mitigation. In contrast, parts of Europe and North America are on the verge of phasing out the technology from their energy mix, preferring instead to invest in energy efficiency and the potential of solar, wind, and other renewables. Still, other states or countries in these regions are seeking to invest in nuclear energy, though the financing and approval process for new plants remains in doubt.

Communicate 2016: Swapping Spectacles

We each see the world through our own lens, pieced together from a unique set of experiences, influences and presuppositions. For those of us working in the environmental sector, surrounding ourselves with like-minded lens wearers, the destructive forces facing the natural world stand out and dominate our view from our own particular angle. But what do these issues look like through a different eyepiece? Maybe it’s time we swap spectacles and take a peek at what other people are seeing and understanding when they look at our stories through altogether different frames. With this insight we can craft more effective interventions for nature.

Tenure Track Position in Environment, Risk & Science Communication at PSU

The Department of Communication at Portland State University seeks a full-time, nine-month, tenure-track/tenured, Assistant or Associate rank position to begin September 16th, 2017. The department seeks a scholar with a record and promise of research productivity in Environmental, Risk, and Science Communication; candidates should have expertise in quantitative methods. Job requirements include publishing research, pursuing external funding, effectively teaching undergraduate and graduate students, and participating in departmental and university service. This position is part of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences’ interdisciplinary cluster hire focusing on “Environmental Extremes (impacts, adaptations, and solutions)” and includes seven additional faculty hires in the Departments of English, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Geography, and Environmental Science and Management. Candidates must be able to teach courses in one or more specific topics in environmental, risk, and science communication. Although not required, optimal candidates will also have some affinity with other areas of departmental focus, which include: health, (new) media, political communication, and organizational communication. Applicants must have their Ph.D. (in Communication or a closely allied discipline) in hand by time of hire (i.e., by September 16th, 2017). PSU is Oregon’s urban research university, with approximately 29,000 students.

Environmental Communication: Research Into Practice - Fall 2016 course

There is still time to register for the fall session of Environmental Communication: Research Into Practice.

This course explores how the most relevant research and theory from communication, psychology, sociology, and political science can be used to improve the practice of science, sustainability and environmental communication. Participants get an overview of the field as we examine how language, images, narratives, values, frames and media come together in advocacy and social marketing campaigns, and other forms of public participation for environmental protection. We consider how communication is used to accomplish practical goals, as well as how it affects people's beliefs about nature and environmental affairs. To do this we use readings, examples, cases, recorded lectures, discussions, and the insights of leaders in the field. Participants have the opportunity to work on communication projects that are relevant to their specific interests.

Depoe's Environmental Communication Class: IECA Excursion Assignments Posted

IECA colleagues and others who teach environmental communication:  I have now required students in my COMM/EVST 4067 (Environmental Communication) class at the University of Cincinnati to become members of IECA for a couple of semesters.  We leverage members-only content, including the membership list, the "EC list" newsletter, and the journal ENVIRONMENTAL COMMUNICATION, throughout the course.  This practice also teaches students what it means to join a professional association.  The students and I have gained significant value from this required class element at a very reasonable cost to students (currently $76 including journal subscription).


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