1 March 2011 Media Literacy as a Key Strategy Toward Improving Public Acceptance of Climate Change Science
Caren B. Cooper
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Without public trust of climate change science, policymaking in a democratic society cannot address the serious threats that we face. Recent calls for proposals to increase “climate literacy” from federal agencies such as NASA, NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), and the National Science Foundation illustrate the urgency of this crisis. Although more climate change education is certainly needed, focusing solely on climate literacy will not garner public trust and may leave out high-impact media literacy education. Climate change deniers have been more effective “educators” than scientists and science educators because their messages are (a) empowering, built on the premise that every individual can quickly learn enough to enter public discourse on climate change; and (b) delivered through many forms of media. A more effective strategy for scientists and science educators should include not only discourse approaches that enable trust, with emphasis on empowerment through reasoning skills, but also approaches that embrace the maturing discipline of media literacy education.

© 2011 by American Institute of Biological Sciences. All rights reserved. Request permission to photocopy or reproduce article content at the University of California Press's Rights and Permissions Web site at www.ucpressjournals.com/reprintinfo.asp.
Caren B. Cooper "Media Literacy as a Key Strategy Toward Improving Public Acceptance of Climate Change Science," BioScience 61(3), 231-237, (1 March 2011). https://doi.org/10.1525/bio.2011.61.3.8
Published: 1 March 2011

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global warming
informal science education
public engagement with science
public understanding of science
science literacy
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