This research evaluates the role of environmental consultancies in LAQM consultation, particularly their level of expertise in science communication. The environmental sector is one of the largest sectors in the UK economy yet the diffuse nature of activities within the sector means that its importance often goes unrecognised. Consultancies represent local authorities during consultation with a variety of different stakeholders, such as transport planners and also the local community on different aspects of LAQM. An important aspect of such consultation is effective communication of the complex science and modelling studies undertaken as part of the LAQM process. This project focused on understanding the level of science communication skills available within environmental consultancies. Quantitative and qualitative results will be presented. The questionnaire results provide the first audit of services offered by environmental consultancies acting as an intermediary between local authorities and stakeholders involved in air quality management. Barriers experienced by the sector in implementing effective science communication were investigated using focus groups and case study interviews.

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 [PCST]
PCST Network

Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

Mediating consultation
Private sector consultancies engagement in Local Air Quality Management (LAQM) consultation

Emma Weitkamp   The University of the West of England

Nurul Leksmono   The University of the West of England

James Longhurst   The University of the West of England

This research evaluates the role of environmental consultancies in LAQM consultation, particularly their level of expertise in science communication. The environmental sector is one of the largest sectors in the UK economy yet the diffuse nature of activities within the sector means that its importance often goes unrecognised. Consultancies represent local authorities during consultation with a variety of different stakeholders, such as transport planners and also the local community on different aspects of LAQM. An important aspect of such consultation is effective communication of the complex science and modelling studies undertaken as part of the LAQM process. This project focused on understanding the level of science communication skills available within environmental consultancies. Quantitative and qualitative results will be presented. The questionnaire results provide the first audit of services offered by environmental consultancies acting as an intermediary between local authorities and stakeholders involved in air quality management. Barriers experienced by the sector in implementing effective science communication were investigated using focus groups and case study interviews.

A copy of the full paper has not yet been submitted.

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