Climate Change Communication & the Internet : workshop at the University of Leicester

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

Contact person for expressions of interest : Dr Nelya Koteyko (

The University of Leicester’s Department of Media and Communication will be hosting MECCSA Climate Change Network workshop on 12 April 2013.

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
— Prof. Dr. Mike S. Schäfer, Head of the Research Group “Media Constructions of Climate Change”, University of Hamburg 
— Dr Bernie Hogan, Research Fellow, Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford 
— Dr Richard Holliman, Senior Lecturer in Science Communication, Department of Environment, Earth and Ecosystems, the Open University

The event will be held at : Department of Media and Communication, Bankfield House, 132 New Walk, Leicester, LE1 7JA from 10am to 16.30 pm.

For further information and call for papers see

Abstract submission :

Submit a maximum 300 words abstract as a Word document file to Nelya Koteyko The deadline for abstract submission is 15 January 2013. Please include a title, author(s) names, affiliations, contact address and e-mail.

Important Dates : Registration opens 10 January 2013 ; Registration closes 1 March 2013. Deadline for abstract submission : 15 January, 2013. Notification of acceptance : 15 February 2013. Workshop : 12 April 2013.

Fees : Participant fee : £20 for staff, £12 for post-graduate students (the fee covers buffet lunch and refreshments)

Registration : Information about the registration will be available by 20 December 2012 at The University of Leicester