Sustainable Science Communication: Content, Audience, Media, and Impact

Sustainable Science Communication: Content, Audience, Media, and Impact

SCREENING: Merchants of Doubt
Wednesday, May 13, 2015 / 7:00 PM 
UCSB Pollock Theater
The screening is free but tickets are required: visit this page for reservations.

CONFERENCE: Sustainable Science Communication: Content, Audience, Media, and Impact
Thursday, May 14 2015 / 9:30 AM – 5:00 PM
Featured address, 11:00 AM: Matthew C. Nisbet (Communication Studies, Northeastern University)
UCSB Corwin Pavilion

Click here to watch the following sessions from the conference: Session 1 / Session 2 / Session 3 / Session 4 (available soon).

We invite you to an interdisciplinary conference of presentations and discussions on “Sustainable Science Communication.” The event begins with a screening of the new documentary Merchants of Doubt. The conference itself consists of four panels (Content, Audience, Media, Impact).  The conference title “Sustainable Science Communication” emphasizes two complementary issues.  The first is “sustainable science” and the second is sustainable “science communication.”

Sustainable Science. The transition to a sustainable society will require a “third industrial revolution”, in which manufacturing, transportation and communication are conducted within constraints imposed by resource availability and supply risk; limitations on energy and freshwater consumption; and knowledge about the environmental fate and transport of components. According to Paul Anastas, one of the founders of the green chemistry movement, such a transition implies no less than the “the redesign of…the material that is at the basis of our society and our economy”. The substitution of conventional technologies by more sustainable versions should be achieved in a manner that maximizes long-term benefits while minimizing short-term disruption.

Sustainable Science Communication.  Related to this particular issue, but also to environmental and other science-based issues, scientists, engineers, and technology developers in particular and academics in general must become able to communicate clearly to other scientists within and across their disciplines, the public, business leaders, government officials, and policy-makers.  Effective communication about science content, choices, and consequences requires the awareness, development, understanding, and application of ongoing theory, research, and evaluation about effective messaging and an appreciation of barriers that impede science-based decision-making. That is, rather than sound bites, personal preferences, and technical reports, we need a sustainable, shared, and constantly improving basis for deciding how best to communicate the complex and subtle issues of science that affect individuals, communities, institutions, society, and the world.

Questions? Contact Susannah L. Scott ( or Ronald E. Rice (

Sponsored by the Mellichamp Academic Initiative in Sustainability, the Arthur N. Rupe Chair, the Environmental Media Initiative of the Carsey-Wolf Center and the IHC series The Anthropocene: Views from the Humanities.
For more details, including a full schedule, please visit: