Katharine Hayhoe, an evangelical climate scientist who’s one of the best science communicators out there, just did an excellent interview with the America Adapts podcast. I’m a long-time fan of Dr. Hayhoe’s work and hearing her talk shop with an adaptation professional like host Doug Parsons was excellent.
Some key takeaways:
- Climate researchers are like physicians for the planet and she feels a moral duty to speak out when research has public impact.
- It’s important to stay positive, especially on bummer issues like climate change.
- If we just argue about facts, we can unintentionally deepen divides on polarized issues.
- Regarding “preaching to the choir:” When she gets invites (and she gets LOTS of high-profile invites) she asks herself if someone else would get invited to it if she declined. If not, she’s a lot more likely to take it up so she can represent climate research to new audiences.
- She constantly experiments and iterates with her presentations and is even doing some social science research to figure out what works best with different audiences.
Give it a listen — I always come away from Dr. Hayhoe’s work feeling inspired, grounded and yes — optimistic.
Parsons’ podcast is also a rich resource of people talking about the climate realities we’re dealing with right now. Those conversations are so important for understanding the stakes of the choices we face when it comes to future climate change.
Originally published at Science Communication Media.