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Citizens and Science: Media, Communication and Conservation


Lester, L and Foxwell-Norton, K, Citizens and Science: Media, Communication and Conservation, Conservation Research, Policy and Practice, Cambridge University Press, WJ Sutherland et al (ed), Cambridge, UK, pp. 265-276. ISBN 9781108638210 (2020) [Research Book Chapter]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2020 British Ecological Society

DOI: doi:10.1017/9781108638210.016


This chapter examines the relationship between conservation science, citizens and policy change through a lens focused on communication media. These media influence the formation of public opinion and action, and limit or assist the passage of conservation science to policy outcome. Recognising the complexity of public communication helps highlight the challenges facing conservation science in garnering public support for policy change. The chapter argues that science and scientists are a critical but underestimated political force in public debate and policy conflict. However, to achieve this potential, scientists cannot assume that they are distant from the often messy politics of public sphere debates. Media engagement is unavoidable and yet frequently cited by scientists as difficult terrain. Communicating science, we agree, is hard. To aid conservation scientists seeking to navigate media, we therefore identify practical strategies for public engagement that will support efforts to inform and influence environmental debate and decision-making. The starting point for these strategies is critical reflection on the role of science itself in the global communication landscape.

Item Details

Item Type:Research Book Chapter
Keywords:media, science communication, environment communication, conservation, digital media, social media
Research Division:Language, Communication and Culture
Research Group:Communication and media studies
Research Field:Communication studies
Objective Division:Culture and Society
Objective Group:Communication
Objective Field:Communication not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Lester, L (Professor Libby Lester)
ID Code:138324
Year Published:2020
Funding Support:Australian Research Council (DP150103454)
Deposited By:Office of the School of Creative Arts and Media
Deposited On:2020-04-01
Last Modified:2021-04-28

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