Climate Change Communication & the Internet: Challenges and Opportunities for Research

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Event Dates: 
April 12, 2013
Leicester, Department of Media and Communication, University of Leicester


The new communicative landscape shaped by the Internet and mobile technologies has had profound implications for communication research on climate change and environment.
It has opened up new areas for studying public engagement with science within the context of contemporary audiences as active co-producers of media content. The emergence of tools that enable searching, aggregating, and analysing online data allows communication researchers to examine the dynamics of climate change-related debates with an unprecedented breadth and scale. At the same time, however, these developments have brought new challenges for the study of (1) content, context and influence of climate change representations and (2) the role of different stakeholders from science, politics, and the economy in these online debates. Multiple web-based channels and platforms often make it difficult to assess how and by whom the online content is accessed, used, and co-produced. Although there are software packages that can quickly process patterns across the universe of Big Data, the de-contextualised nature of results remains a key problem.
This event will bring together leading scholars in the fields of media studies, science communication, information science, and computer-mediated communication to critically explore these issues. The international workshop will focus on some of the key challenges in researching Internet-based communication on climate change and climate politics, and the ways in which different methodological perspectives can be further developed to examine the use of online and social media by various stakeholders.
We invite scholarly contributions on the following topics, other aspects of the overall theme are also welcome:

  • Environmental activism online
  • Methodological approaches for studying user-generated content on climate change and environment
  • Citizen journalism and climate change
  • Social media discourses and framing of scientific uncertainty, risk, and expertise
  • The role of Internet use in public engagement with climate change

Confirmed speakers

  • Professor Brigitte Nerlich, Institute for Science and Society (School of Sociology and Social Policy), University of Nottingham
  • Dr Richard Holliman, Senior Lecturer in Science Communication, Department of Environment, Earth and Ecosystems, the Open University
  • Dr Bernie Hogan, Research Fellow, Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford

Contact person for expressions of interest: Dr Nelya Koteyko (