Communicate the science behind environmental issues. Identifying key messages (and other clues) from scientific papers
Clementina Equihua – Instituto de Ecología. Mexico
I will present a methodology that may help journalists, science communicators or even scientists, to identify key messages within a peer reviewed scientific paper. Climate change, biodiversity loss and the wide diversity of today’s environmental problems pose an important challenge for science communicators when addressing scientific issues. Second to researchers, scientific papers are a primary source of information for journalists. A scientific communicator can use them as a first approach to identify key messages and then produce the narrative that engages audiences or obtain the needed information for interview planning. Scientific papers are also an invaluable tool since they remain as a legacy in history. Nevertheless, communicators relay mainly on scientists as a source of information. Relaying mostly on scientists may bias the communication process (i.e. some scientists are more open to accepting interviews than others or the communicated science is mainly what is already pretty much understood by the audiences). Then some issues can be left aside, for instance novel information or key issues that help understand better an environmental problem.
My suggested methodology can help overcome those problems and become a useful tool for identifying key messages (and other clues) that may help make science accessible to wider audiences. This methodology will also help to increase the different subjects that are published in the media. For instance, helping to obtain clues to understand papers with no direct relationship with society, but important to help the public to better understanding the acquisition of knowledge.
The author has not yet submitted a copy of the full paper.