Environmental and Science Communication research group

Environmental communication and the closely related field of science communication have long been a key research focus of the Department. One of the first edited collections to address the roles of media and communication in relation to environmental issues emerged from the then Centre for Mass Communication Research in the early 1990s, and in 2017 we will be hosting the prestigious international Conference on Communication and the Environment (COCE).Photograph: Stefan Kühn. Licence Creative Commons BY-SA 3.0

Our research on environmental and science communication addresses all aspects of media and communication roles in the public mediation of scientific and expert knowledge, and in the social, political and cultural construction of ‘the environment’. We study how the public and political agenda on environmental issues is shaped by a wide range of sources - scientists, experts, NGOs, government, businesses and corporations - as well as by journalistic practices and the imperatives of media organisations. We are interested in what drives, shapes and changes media and public debate about environmental and related issues over time, and the key roles of language, visualisation, discourse and framing in determining successful communication in the public sphere.

We explore these dimensions across a variety of media, genres and types of communication, while also recognising the importance of cultural and historical context to understanding the dynamics of public communication.

Contributing Researchers: Vincent Campbell, Bernhard Forchtner, Anders Hansen, Julian Matthews, Giovanna Puppin, Jingrong Tong, Maria Touri, Rahma Al-Foori.

Information Contact: Anders Hansen

Our key questions

  • What are the key drivers influencing public communication of the environment, science and risk?
  • How can we account for the long-term ups and downs in media, public and political concern about the environment?
  • How do government, corporations, NGOs and activists seek to influence and manage media and public communication about the environment? And with what success?
  • How are technological changes and economic pressures in news and journalism impacting on environmental and science journalism, and changing the nature, dynamics and voices of public discourse about science and the environment?
  • How are the environment, science and risk visually constructed, and how do visual and verbal communication interact to shape public and political agendas?

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Contact Details

School of Media, Communication and Sociology

Campus based courses
E: mcs-enquiries@le.ac.uk
T: +44(0)116 252 3863

Distance Learning Courses
E: css-dl@le.ac.uk
T: 0116 252 3755

Research degrees (campus-based and distance learning courses)
T: +44(0)116 252 2785
E: MCS-Research@le.ac.uk

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