Research becomes meaningful when reaching an audience

Knowledge anResd meaningful when reaching an audience

Viewed pessimistically, science is an activity turning enormous resources, including thousands of hours of work, into a few pages of a research article to be published in an academic journal read by a select few.

Looking for my academic writing?

You can find my academic publications on Google Scholar — most of them are open access and free after some time. Send me an email if you can't find a download link.

Unfortunately, journal articles are the currency in which most universities measure their employees' worth.

I enjoy making the fruits of my labour accessible and useful for other audiences than those with a love for research papers. Next to my academic writing, I work on other projects in the form of science writing and currently a book project about climate politics and activism.

If you're a journalist, or another writer seeking a collaborator with expert knowledge in (politicised) science communication, I'd be happy to offer counsel, advice, or work together on a project. 

Why we need to talk less about climate science (and focus on politics instead)

Blog Post
Photo by Markus Spiske

After many decades of inaction, we now have to face severe climate change. Yet, the most important question is not how bad it will get, but what can be done now to cut emissions quickly. This is a point often missed by the media and campaigners.

In a blog post on the "Communicating Communication" blog, featuring the research of PhD students at the Amsterdam School of Communication Research, I discuss why media reporting on climate change, even when accurate, can lead the public conversation in the wrong direction.

Patterns of controversy and consensus in German, Canadian, and US online news on climate change

Research article

In this academic article, I report on the results of the first study in my PhD project. I analyzed a range of German, Canadian and US online media, and investigated which actors are portrayed to have positions on different aspects of climate change. These individual positions add to an image of controversy or consensus on the issue.

The results show that German media present political consensus about the need to limit emissions and societal controversy about the efficacy of specific mitigation measures. Presenting mainly consensus, Canadian media report more on climate change’s impact, leaving aside the issue of efficacy. In the US, media emphasise political controversy — about the need to limit emissions and occasionally about climate change’s impact on humans.

The article was published in "Global Environmental Change", is available open access, and can be downloaded from the University of Amsterdam's repository