GlobalCool: Breaking Through on Global Warming
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."
GRAPH: MAJOR NEWSPAPER ATENTION TO "BLOOD" OR "CONFLICT" DIAMONDS
All eyes in the science advocacy community will be on Paris tomorrow, as the policymakers' summary of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is released. Though the most important scientific document on global warming, it remains unclear just how much media and public focus the report will generate.
Earlier this week, celebrities launched Global Cool, a sleek new multimedia campaign to generate attention to global warming among the sizable majority of Americans who tune out almost all coverage of public affairs. As backwards as it might seem, more Americans this week will be exposed to buzz about GlobalCool then they will be about the IPCC report.
Just how influential can "entertainment education" be in breaking through to non-traditional audiences for public affairs content? Consider the graph above tracing attention at the major newspapers of conflict or "blood" diamonds. Though the major events and international agreements on the issue all took place back in the late 1990s to early 00's, the issue barely scratched the newspaper agenda. It was only with the release of Leonardo DiCaprio's academy award nominated "Blood Diamond" that the issue made it into wider media focus, creating a justifiably embarrassing PR problem for the diamond industry.
Note: Headline or lead paragraph keyword search "Blood diamond" or "conflict diamond" or "war diamond" in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, Washington Post, Chicago Sun-Times, Denver Post, Boston Globe, and the San Diego Star Tribune.
Scientists have developed new ways of understanding how the biological forces of death drive important life processes.
- Researchers have found new ways on how decomposing plants and animals contribute to the life cycle.
- After a freak mass herd death of 300 reindeer, scientists were able to study a wide range of the decomposition processes.
- Promoting the necrobiome research will open up new areas of inquiry and even commerce.
What do we see from watching birds move across the country?
- A total of eight billion birds migrate across the U.S. in the fall.
- The birds who migrate to the tropics fair better than the birds who winter in the U.S.
- Conservationists can arguably use these numbers to encourage the development of better habitats in the U.S., especially if temperatures begin to vary in the south.
Explore how alcohol affects your brain, from the first sip at the bar to life-long drinking habits.
- Alcohol is the world's most popular drug and has been a part of human culture for at least 9,000 years.
- Alcohol's effects on the brain range from temporarily limiting mental activity to sustained brain damage, depending on levels consumed and frequency of use.
- Understanding how alcohol affects your brain can help you determine what drinking habits are best for you.
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