Climate scientist Ben Santer at Lawrence Livermore National Lab and Chris Mooney, science and political journalist and author, talked with CSW about how climate scientists communicate complex research findings to the public in an atmosphere of fierce politicization and competing demands.

In August, Climate Science Watch research associates Alexa Jay and Rebeka Ryvola interviewed Chris Mooney in Washington, DC, and Dr. Santer at his lab in California via a link from Washington.  Santer and Mooney shared their thoughts on the critically important role climate scientists play in communicating their work to the public.

From the video:  

Addressing climate change as a societal problem requires a healthy relationship between science and public policy making, grounded in a broad public understanding of its drivers, impacts, and solutions. However, the science of climate change has been increasingly swept up and distorted in a broader crusade against government regulation, and some research shows that the so-called ‘climategate’ scandal and subsequent attacks on climate scientists have had a significant negative impact on public beliefs in global warming and trust in scientists. As we grapple with collective decisionmaking to forestall the worst impacts of climate change, effective communication of the science behind it is more important than ever.

Ben Santer is a Research Scientist with the Program for Climate Model Diagnosis and Intercomparison, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, California (see here, here, and here). He was the Convening Lead Author of “Detection of Climate Change and Attribution of Causes,” Chapter 8 of the 1995 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Working Group I Assessment Report on climate science.

Chris Mooney writes on the blog The Intersection with Sheril Kirshenbaum. He is the author of Unscientific America, Storm World, and The Republican War on Science.

Earlier CSW posts:

July 25, 2010: Stephen Schneider: Eulogies and Tributes (includes Santer eulogy)

June 30, 2010: AAAS initiative, Chris Mooney paper ask: do scientists understand the public?

May 21, 2010: Climate scientists tell House committee: We know the risk, now it’s up to policymakers to act

February 24, 2010: Sen. Inhofe inquisition seeking ways to criminalize and prosecute 17 leading climate scientists

December 2, 2009: Ben Santer: Open letter to the climate science community

October 13, 2009: Phil Jones and Ben Santer respond to CEI and Pat Michaels attack on temperature data record

July 13, 2009: Just out: “Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens Our Future”

March 22, 2009: Politicians, journalists, and readers: On thinking with scientific integrity about climate