Public may be more accepting of advocacy by climate scientists than previously thought

February 27, 2017, Taylor & Francis

Research published today in Environmental Communication suggests that scientists may have more freedom than previously thought to engage in certain forms of climate change advocacy without risking harm to their credibility.

The experiment, conducted by researchers at George Mason University's Center for Climate Change Communication, showed that on five out of six occasions when a fictional scientist made advocacy statements to the on Facebook, their own and their colleagues credibility was left unharmed.

The example statements, tested on a nationally representative sample of U.S. adults, covered a broad spectrum of potential public engagement activities, including a recent scientific finding, a discussion of the risks and impacts of , pros and cons of different proposals to address climate change, a broad call for action on climate change, and two different statements where the scientist endorsed a specific action - limiting from coal-burning power plants or building more nuclear .

The only instance where the credibility of the scientist suffered was after the endorsement of a specific controversial policy - building more . This suggests that the American public are more likely to object to a scientist's advocacy statement when a specific standpoint is endorsed, and not when more general statements are made.

It has previously been thought that public advocacy on issues such as climate change can compromise the credibility of both individual scientists and the broader scientific community. However, this study suggests that scientists have the ability to communicate with the public without the risk of harming their reputation.

"This study certainly won't end debate about how scientists can best contribute to public discussions about climate change," said lead author John Kotcher, a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at George Mason University. "However, we hope that our findings at least help stimulate a more evidence-based conversation among scientists about the relationship between scientific advocacy and , rather than simply relying upon intuition or anecdote to choose which role is best for them."

In a commentary that accompanied the study, scientist Simon Donner, from the University of British Columbia, welcomed the findings, but also said that it should "not be mistaken as a green light for scientists to publicly say or do anything without thought about the repercussions for themselves, the scientific community and the audience."

Explore further: Despite papal letter, Catholics and the public politically divided on climate change

More information: John E. Kotcher et al, Does Engagement in Advocacy Hurt the Credibility of Scientists? Results from a Randomized National Survey Experiment, Environmental Communication (2017). DOI: 10.1080/17524032.2016.1275736

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rderkis
1 / 5 (2) Feb 27, 2017
From what little I know of scientists is, what the public thinks of them is of very little consequence. But what their peers in the scientific community think of then is more important than money.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (2) Feb 27, 2017
However, this study suggests that scientists have the ability to communicate with the public without the risk of harming their reputation.


OK, they are conflating reputation and credibility in this article (well, only in this sentence the rest of the article is consistent). That's liek comparing apples with oranges.

Reputation is something that is bestowed upon by peers. The public perception is completely immaterial to a scientist's reputation.

Credibility (what the article is about) is something that the public has a say in.

"not be mistaken as a green light for scientists to publicly say or do anything without thought about the repercussions for themselves, the scientific community and the audience."

Needless advice. Scientists don't do jack without thinking about it. It's basically what they are (much more so than simply what they *do*)
FactsReallyMatter
2 / 5 (4) Feb 27, 2017
Scientists don't do jack without thinking about ....
the next grant application.

Fixed that for you.

antialias_physorg
4.4 / 5 (7) Feb 27, 2017
Scientists don't do jack without thinking about ....


the next grant application.

Fixed that for you

It's relly annoying how often you make pronouncements about stuff you don't know anything about. You'd make yourself look a LOT smarter by not posting (anything) at all.

Public appearances and don't result in grants.
Grants are based on:
a) National scientific budget (and some international budgets)
b) Evaluation of research proposal by scientific comissions (i.e. peers or people with at least a solid scientific background and outstanding track record).

But I'm sure you won't remember this and will post some inane/insane post to the same effect in the next thread.

These 50 cent armies are really pitiful.
*sigh*
rderkis
1.8 / 5 (5) Feb 27, 2017
Well FactsReallyMatter, I guess antialias_physorg, taught you a thing or two! :-)
In his last post on another article he states that he is all our teacher. :-)
And that we listen and learn from him.
Most teacher say things like "You'd make yourself look a LOT smarter by not posting (anything) at all."
Or the really good teachers say things like "post some inane/insane post to the same effect".
antialias_physorg
4.4 / 5 (7) Feb 27, 2017
And that we listen and learn from him.
Most teacher say things like "You'd make yourself look a LOT smarter by not posting (anything) at all."

Nah. You two are not here to learn. You're just a victims to be made fun off. The stuff you post is beyond ridiculous.
(Alterantively you're a poster boy for the lack of elementary education in the US...take your pick)

Just cash your 50 cents and go.
rderkis
1.8 / 5 (5) Feb 27, 2017
Wow, antialias_physorg for a teacher you are such a lier.
You made me feel really good when you said you were going to mute me [ignore me].
But as usual your all hot air.
The articles are here to teach, your just here because you think you are the teacher and that is a laugh. :-) Ha :-) Ha :-) Ha
antialias_physorg
4.2 / 5 (5) Feb 27, 2017
Occasionally it's fun to pummel the intellectually defenseless.

It's sorta interesting how low the trolls will go (or how much idiocy they can stomach to post in order to cash their check).
Greed rules all, I guess.
rderkis
1.8 / 5 (5) Feb 27, 2017
Greed rules all, I guess.

So now antialias_physorg you confess to greed to besides proving yourself to be a liar.
Talk about the intellectually defenseless. :-)

FactsReallyMatter
1 / 5 (3) Mar 01, 2017
Occasionally it's fun to pummel the intellectually defenseless..


Yet, apparently we are smart enough to convince the masses of the foolhardiness of your faith.

Damn, that must really bust your bubble - so smart, and so utterly without power.

Perhaps if you would stop talking about fantasy as reality and instead focus on actual reality then more of us ignorant plebes would listen. Til then, you are just a 4 cent magician with a dead rabbit.
rodkeh
1 / 5 (2) Mar 05, 2017
Climate scientists are a bunch of frauds, they have no credibility. They never get anything right and all they do is fear monger, to try to frighten the public so they can get a place at the public funding trough.
RealityCheck
2.3 / 5 (3) Mar 05, 2017
Hi antialias, rderkis. :)
rderkis said: Wow, antialias_physorg for a teacher you are such a lier. You made me feel really good when you said you were going to mute me [ignore me]. But as usual your all hot air. The articles are here to teach, your just here because you think you are the teacher and that is a laugh. :-)
antialias said: Occasionally it's fun to pummel the intellectually defenseless.
@ antialias, have you learned nothing from your Bicep2-related fiasco here? Why do you do this sort of clueless, one-eyed, 'faith-based' ego-tripping attacks? It only brings scientists into disrepute more than anyone else ever could? We all will recall how YOU fell 'hook-line-and-sinker' for Bicep2 crap and arrogantly, incorrectly, set about having "fun pummeling the intellectually defenseless". A word of advice, antialias: ensure you are NOT the one "intellectually defenseless"; preferably BEFORE embarrassing yourself and REAL scientists with your hypocrisy. OK? Ta. :)
Captain Stumpy
3 / 5 (2) Mar 09, 2017
blatantly lying fodera headed earthling idiot pseudoscience troll
have you learned nothing from your Bicep2-related fiasco here?
have you learned nothing?
you made a claim about 4 fatal flaws written in someone else's public access work freely available to all... but you can't point to a single thing in said free access not protected work to substantiate your claim?

in fact, you've made, literally, 6,234 posts wasting more than 6,234,000 characters avoiding making any specific comments or presenting a factual argument substantiating your claim

by any standards, that is representative of delusional behaviour, and also indicative of pseudoscience idiocy

so just to be clear, until you can support just the 4 fatal flaws with evidence, you are nothing but a lying POS troll who can't tell their *ss from their head

reported
Captain Stumpy
3 / 5 (2) Mar 09, 2017
@rodk
Climate scientists are a bunch of frauds, they have no credibility.
if you could prove that with the same validated science they're using to prove you an idiot, you might have a claim to whinge on about

.

@factsdontmatter
we are smart enough to convince the masses of the foolhardiness of your faith
no, you're capable of convincing a populace that is already firmly entrenched in delusional foolhardy beliefs (like the sky faerie and zombie-saviour) that your religious based argument is somehow believable

that is like saying you're cult is smarter than science

it hasn't worked with creationists, so why do you think it works with climate science?

like i said to rod - if you only could prove your BS with equivalent evidence
RealityCheck
2.3 / 5 (3) Mar 10, 2017
Hi Stumpy! :)

Haven't you got that Bicep2 'crap-believer egg' off your face yet?

Stop your bot-voting, trolling, stalking, vendettas and assorted 'egg on face' noise.

Get over it. :)
Captain Stumpy
3 / 5 (2) Mar 10, 2017
@idiot earthling club pseudoscience cult leader
Haven't you got that Bicep2 'crap-believer egg' off your face yet?
1- i was not the one making false claims about BICEP like you did

2- you keep saying that you are an adherent to the scientific method - as such, then i challenge you to validate your argument with actual evidence of the 4 fatal flaws in said free access publications you claimed to have seen them in

haven't you learned yet?
no one cares about the results in science so long as you learn and you can validate your claim with evidence

that is something you cannot do - nor have you ever done
it's why you are perma-banned from moderated sites and it's why you can only post to non-moderated sites

it's why you will never be taken seriously in your "maths free ToE" as publicized on your page

6,238 posts and zero evidence

ZERO EVIDENCE

you keep posting, i'll keep reporting you for pseudoscience, trolling and blatantly false claims
RealityCheck
1 / 5 (2) Mar 10, 2017
Hi Stumpy! :)

Now I'm a "cult leader"? Just because I adhere strictly to Scientific Method; and I don't 'just believe' so called 'reputable sources/people' (like you et al did with that Bicep2 'reputable team' crap)? Well, it's news to me that being an objective scientist, and urging all to be likewise, is now a 'cult' in your eyes, Stumpy; and "idiotic" no less!

Well, Stumpy, if you pause your poisonous personal vendetta agenda long enough, and actually be objective about it, you will note IT WAS YOU (and antialias et al) who were the IDIOTS 'just believing' that Bicep2 crap; even after I cautioned you of its many obvious flaws since pointed out in detail by Planck team, which confirmed most of my own observations!

Stumpy, do make less 'idiot noise'; and get that Bicep2 'egg' off your face (again); and learn, instead of being bitter. How many times do you have to embarrass yourself like this before you learn objectivity/humility! Stop your poisonous/bot-voting idiocy! :)

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