At the Washington Times, Two Scientists Apply Framing to Get Their Message Across
Matthew C. Nisbet, Ph.D. is Associate Professor of Communication Studies, Public Policy, and Urban Affairs at Northeastern University. Nisbet studies the role of communication and advocacy in policymaking and public affairs, focusing on debates over over climate change, energy, and sustainability. Among awards and recognition, Nisbet has been a Visiting Shorenstein Fellow on Press, Politics, and Public Policy at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, a Health Policy Investigator at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and a Google Science Communication Fellow. In 2011, the editors at the journal Nature recommended Nisbet's research as “essential reading for anyone with a passing interest in the climate change debate,” and the New Republic highlighted his work as a “fascinating dissection of the shortcomings of climate activism."
How do you influence conservative media outlets to take climate change seriously, re-casting the issue in a light that connects to their conservative audiences?
You got it: Framing.
It's a strategy that two scientists apply today in an op-ed published at the Washington Times. Bryan K. Mignone, a Science & Technology Fellow in the Foreign Policy Studies Program at the Brookings Institution, and Mark D. Drapeau, a AAAS Fellow at the National Defense University, strategically piggyback on last week's military report on climate change to gain an audience at the notoriously conservative WTimes opinion page.
They frame their lede in national security terms before moving on to reaffirm the scientific evidence in support of climate change as a problem.
Here's an email Drapeu sent me, noting the lessons he's picked up from our commentaries at Science and the WPost, and the many other posts on the topic at this blog:
Hi Dr. Nisbet - Your blog is incredibly valuable to the scientific community. Applying the tools of framing to controversial discussions in science and other technical areas is important now more than ever. One of these current topics is that of global climate change, which has implications for science, technology, health, politics, and security.
In that vein, I wanted to forward you a link to my new op-ed about climate change and international security that was published in the 22 April (Sunday) Washington Times: It's called "Climate of Subtle Conflict."
As a 06-08 AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellow at the Department of Defense, I am trying to translate technical issues into language for the senior [defense] policymaker. Working with a future AAAS Fellow, Bryan Mignone from the Brookings Institution, I think we've been successful!
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