Author: Inez Harker-Schuch – The Australian National University, Australia

Understanding post-normal sciesopcio-political problems, such as climate change. Early adolescence presents a unique opportunity for more effective interventions; particularly those of a ‘wicked problem’ nature. This paper explores the characteristics that make young adolescents (12-14 year olds) ideal targets for climate science interventions – and their pivotal role in cultivating public opinion, broadening awareness of the science and leveraging this knowledge to promote climate-friendly policy and governance. This paper examines why this age group is a vital target to foster engagement with climate mitigation and build political momentum toward reducing carbon emissions. We explore the physiological and social characteristics that make young adolescents such ideal targets – and how these characteristics can be utilised to create better communication and education tools, methods and strategies. We anticipate that that this will help educators and communicators ensure climate science communication is tailored to be cost-effective, accurately targeted and appropriately scaled to this key demographic. This work contributes to climate science communication and advances understanding of climate science communication frameworks both for this specific audience and in the broader public arena.

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Presentation type: Individual paper
Theme: Science
Area of interest: Teaching science communication