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Science communication and mediatised environmental conflict: a cautionary tale


Konkes, C and Foxwell-Norton, K, Science communication and mediatised environmental conflict: a cautionary tale, Public Understanding of Science, 30, (4) pp. 470-483. ISSN 1361-6609 (2021) [Refereed Article]

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© The Author(s) 2021

DOI: doi:10.1177/0963662520985134


When Australian physicist, Peter Ridd, lost his tenured position with James Cook University, he was called a ‘whistleblower’, ‘contrarian academic’ and ‘hero of climate science denial’. In this article, we examine the events surrounding his dismissal to better understand the role of science communication in organised climate change scepticism. We discuss the sophistry of his complaint to locate where and through what processes science communication becomes political communication. We argue that the prominence of scientists and scientific knowledge in debates about climate change locates science, as a social sphere or fifth pillar in Hutchins and Lester’s theory of mediatised environmental conflict. In doing so, we provide a model to better understand how science communication can be deployed during politicised debates.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:communication studies, science communication, media studies, climate change, Great Barrier Reef
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:The media
UTAS Author:Konkes, C (Dr Claire Konkes)
ID Code:142594
Year Published:2021
Web of Science® Times Cited:6
Deposited By:Media
Deposited On:2021-01-28
Last Modified:2022-04-26

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