[LINK] Why Should We Believe the Panel on Climate Change?

Tom Worthington tom.worthington at tomw.net.au
Thu Jul 15 12:33:48 AEST 2010

Greetings from the conference "Democratizing Climate Governance" at the
Australian National University in Canberra

The opening talk was by Professor Sheila Jasanoff (Harvard) on "Knowing
Climate Change: The Challenges and Opportunities of a Global Civic
Epistemology". This was a wide ranging and very scholarly talk, which
has some interesting practical implications. It came out in question
time when a frustrated climate scientists asked essentially: "Why don't
people believe us?" and the Professor's response was "Why should they?".
She was making the point that there is a substantial body of social
science and educational research which shows that presenting supposedly
pure scientific truth is not convincing.

In my Green ICT course we spend only part of the time on climate science
and technology to deal with it. Most of the time is on how to
communicate this in a corporate context. Earlier in the week I talked at
Moodle Moot AU 2010
The point we were all in agreement at the conference on was that there
was little education value in simply using the technology to present
facts to students: we had to get them to discuss the issues. Australia
now leads the world in this technology and teaching technique, having
developed the Moodle open source software. I wonder if it could be
applied more widely to public discussions.

Tom Worthington FACS CP HLM, TomW Communications Pty Ltd. t: 0419496150
PO Box 13, Belconnen ACT 2617, Australia  http://www.tomw.net.au

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