Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2023-2730
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2023-2730
08 Dec 2023
 | 08 Dec 2023

Evaluating the impact of climate communication activities by scientists: What is known and necessary?

Frances Wijnen, Madelijn Strick, Mark Bos, and Erik van Sebille

Abstract. Climate scientists and others are urged to communicate climate science in a way that non-scientific audiences can understand, that makes it more relevant to their lives and experiences, and that inspires them to act. To achieve this, climate scientists undertake a range of climate communication activities to engage people with climate change. With the effort and time spent on climate communication activities, comes the need to evaluate the outcomes, impact and effectiveness of such efforts. Here, we aimed to gain insight into the impact and effectiveness of climate communication efforts by scientists by conducting a systematic literature review. However, our most important finding is that there are hardly any studies in which climate communication activities by scientists are evaluated: we found only seven articles over the past ten years. We analyze these articles for the role of the scientists, the audiences reached and the reported outcomes and impact of the activities. We end our study with several recommendations that should be considered when setting up studies on evaluating the impact of climate communication activities by scientists.

Frances Wijnen, Madelijn Strick, Mark Bos, and Erik van Sebille

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • CC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-2730', John K. Hillier, 19 Dec 2023
    • AC1: 'Reply on CC1', Erik van Sebille, 21 Dec 2023
  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-2730', Usha Harris, 11 Jan 2024
  • RC2: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-2730', Angelica Alberti-Dufort, 15 Feb 2024
Frances Wijnen, Madelijn Strick, Mark Bos, and Erik van Sebille
Frances Wijnen, Madelijn Strick, Mark Bos, and Erik van Sebille

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Short summary
Climate scientists are urged to communicate climate science, there is very little evidence about what types of communication work well for which audiences. We have performed a systematic literature review to analyse what is known about the efficacy of climate communication by scientists. While we have found more than 60 articles in the last ten years about climate communication activities by scientists, only seven of these included some form of evaluation of the impact of the activity.