Colloquium: Clark Wolf on International Negotiations

Science, politics and environmental management: How to use fur seals to claim the Bering Sea

Clark Wolf, Professor of Philosophy and Director, Bioethics Center
Thursday, 1 December, 3:40-5:00
215 Ross Hall

This talk will consider the 1892 Fur Seal Negotiations in Paris–a huge international affair to which scientists from different nations contributed information on the sustainable management of Bering sea animal populations. In the end, agreement was reached (but not until the resources in question had been driven almost to extinction) and a management regime was implemented, including the US Marine Mammal Protection Act. This negotiation may provide a model (or a cautionary tale) for evaluating and perhaps improving the climate negotiation process.

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Colloquium: Jean McGuire on Reconstructing the Good Farmer Identity

Reconstructing the Good Farmer Identity

Presentation by Jean McGuire based on research by Lois Wright Morton and Jean McGuire
Department of Sociology, Iowa State University
THURSDAY 27 October, 3:40-5:00
310 Carver Conference Room

Many U.S. farmers do not recognize how their management decisions affect water quality and therefore are not taking action to address the impacts their practices have had, and continue to have, on surface water, and groundwater degradation. A group of farmers in northeast Iowa have demonstrated that it is possible to address water and soil quality issues while maintaining efficiency and profitability. We apply two feedback models, identity control and performance-based environmental management, to show the processes whereby these farmers came to recognize the environmental impacts of their farm practices on the surface and ground water in their watershed and then adopted practices to reduce the pollutants leaving their farms. The next phase of the development of the Good Farmer concept is being tested in two USDA-funded climate change adaptation and mitigation research projects currently underway in the United States Corn Belt.

Abbott Colloquium: Media coverage of innovations

“Patterns of Mass Media coverage of science and technology: Hoopla Theory and Beyond”
Eric Abbott (Greenlee)
Thursday, September 29, 3:40-5:00 p.m.
310 Carver Hall meeting room

Mass media coverage of scientific innovations and controversies tends to follow regular patterns, both in terms of volume of coverage, tone, and sources used. Hoopla theory suggests that scientific innovations often begin with a spurt of highly positive coverage, followed by a gradual decline in coverage that is characterized by more negative information. The presentation will examine coverage of both scientific controversies and innovations, and will compare how hoopla theory and other theories explain them.

First Colloquium: deLaplante on Critical Thinking about Conspiracies

“Conspiracy theorists” are often skilled at defending their ideas with a semblance of reason. Project team member Kevin deLaplante will share his work on how principles of critical thinking can help to sort out conspiracy claims. This project was driven in part by some of the responses he’s received from the audience of his podcasts at the Critical Thinker Academy;  he’ll be talking about his public scholarship as well.

Kevin deLaplante (Philosophy)
“Critical Thinking About Conspiracies”
Thursday, September 1, 3:40-5:00
215 Ross Hall

Project’s work featured on Climate Etc. Blog

Judith Curry has featured two essays by Science Communication team members on her widely-read blog, Climate Etc.

On the Role of Trust in Climate Communication,” commenting on Goodwin & Dahlstrom, “Good Reasons for Trusting Climate Science Communication,” presented at the American Meteorological Society convention, January, 2011;  http://ams.confex.com/ams/91Annual/webprogram/Paper184847.html.

Manufacturing(?) consensus,” commenting on Goodwin, “The Authority of the IPCC and the Manufacture of Consensus,” presented at the National Communication Association convention, November, 2008; http://goodwin.public.iastate.edu/pubs/goodwinipcc.pdf.