Author: Simon Schneider – University of Potsdam, Germany

Over the last decades the public debate about climate change, sustainability, and other global environmental issues was focused solely on perspectives from the Earth sciences, on economic demands and societal challenges. Some scholars see the working programme for climate research of the EU as an example, which seems to be “characterized by its exclusion of human (cultural, ethical and spiritual) dimensions and is simply interested in monitoring and technical and socioeconomic engineering of solution policy” (Bergmann, 2010:17). Only recently cultural studies and theology have been introduced into relevant research, but a deeper understanding of “how human environmental attitudes get shaped and what causes those attitudes to change through time” (Kareiva; 2008: 2757) is still missing. While scientists agree, that there “… is also ample evidence that distinct cultural and religious values of individuals and whole societies influence their perception and tolerance of risk as well as their capacity to cope with environmental hazard” (Gerten, 2010:39f), education and communication research have not yet focused on how these risks and hazards are transported into the public in respect to various socio-political environments. Within this session, we want to discuss ways to gain a better understanding of how cultural preconceptions influence science education and science communication.

Presentation type: Idea in progress
Theme: Society
Area of interest: Comparing science communication across cultures