Skip to page content
USDA Forest Service
  
Treesearch

Research & Development Treesearch

 
Treesearch Home
About Treesearch
Contact Us
Research & Development
Forest Products Lab
International Institute of Tropical Forestry
Northern
Pacific Northwest
Pacific Southwest
Rocky Mountain
Southern Research Station
Help
 

Science.gov - We Participate


USA.gov  Government Made Easy


Global Forest Information Service

US Forest Service
P.O. Box 96090
Washington, D.C.
20090-6090

(202) 205-8333

You are here: Home / Search / Publication Information
Bookmark and Share

Publication Information

View PDF (131 KB)

Title: Can science writing collectives overcome barriers to more democratic communication and collaboration? Lessons from environmental communication praxis in southern Appalachia

Author: Burke, Brian J.; Welch-Devine, Meredith; Gustafson, Seth; Heynen, Nik; Rice, Jennifer L.; Gragson, Ted L.; Evans, Sakura R.; Nelson, Donald R.;

Date: 2015

Source: Environmental Communication

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: Despite compelling reasons to involve nonscientists in the production of ecological knowledge, cultural and institutional factors often dis-incentivize engagement between scientists and nonscientists. This paper details our efforts to develop a biweekly newspaper column to increase communication between ecological scientists, social scientists, and the communities within which they work. Addressing community-generated topics and written by a collective of social and natural scientists, the column is meant to foster public dialog about socio-environmental issues and to lay the groundwork for the coproduction of environmental knowledge. Our collective approach to writing addresses some major barriers to public engagement by scientists, but the need to insert ourselves as intermediaries limits these gains. Overall, our efforts at environmental communication praxis have not generated significant public debate, but they have supported future coproduction by making scientists a more visible presence in the community and providing easy pathways for them to begin engaging the public. Finally, this research highlights an underappreciated barrier to public engagement: scientists are not merely disconnected from the public, but also connected in ways that may be functional for their research. Many field scientists, for example, seek out neutral and narrowly defined connections that permit research access but are largely incompatible with efforts to address controversial issues of environmental governance.

Keywords: science writing, democratization, public engagement, journalism, coproduction

Publication Notes:

  • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.

XML: View XML

Citation:


Burke, Brian J.; Welch-Devine, Meredith; Gustafson, Seth; Heynen, Nik; Rice, Jennifer L.; Gragson, Ted L.; Evans, Sakura R.; Nelson, Donald R. 2015. Can science writing collectives overcome barriers to more democratic communication and collaboration? Lessons from environmental communication praxis in southern Appalachia. Environmental Communication: 1-18. 20 p.

 


 [ Get Acrobat ]  Get the latest version of the Adobe Acrobat reader or Acrobat Reader for Windows with Search and Accessibility

USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.