Panel: Citizen engagement and the role of publics in science and environment communication – at NordMedia

The ECREA Science and Environment Section of ECREA organized a panel for NordMedia Conference at Malmö University, Sweden, on 21-23/8/2019

In the light of the increasing challenges faced by local, national and international communities in dealing with risk and crises related to science and the environment, the role of citizens has been identified as an important way forward. The panel explored how citizens engage in environmental and scientific problems characterised by some of the features: scientific uncertainty and contestation, diverging interests, democratic processes and inclusion (or lack thereof), debate and critique, implementation of initiatives and projects etc. This focus allowed for analysis of how the discourse of science and environment communication can be democratized in order to include more perspectives and voices in a debate where they have often been excluded. The aim was to explore how this discourse can be developed in more dialogical, critical, inclusive and deliberative ways. The panel looked at new ways forward in developing a space for public debate and emerging publics in science and environment communication in relation to either new or traditional media. The panel also addressed the question of how to theorise participation and citizenship in the light of how citizens and stakeholders may be critical, constructive, populist etc. when facing crises relating to science and the environment.

Papers in the panel:

Communication for Sustainability in the Anthropocene – the pivotal role of citizen engagement and public participation

Dr Annika Egan Sjölander, Department of Culture and Media Studies, Umeå University, Sweden

Engaging citizens for climate change – challenges for journalism

Anna Maria Jönsson, Södertörn University, Sweden & Ester Appelgren (second author), Södertörn University, Sweden

Environmental protest as citizenshipMette Marie Roslyng, Aalborg University Copenhagen, Denmark