ARTiculation of Change

“Climate change is a reality. Caused by us all, it is a cultural, social and economic problem and must move beyond scientific debate… artists can engage the public in this issue, through creative insight and vision. ” D. Buckland 2007

The imperative of engaging broad sectors of society with the effects of climate change provides the most important and timely challenge for  science communication. While science has much to say about the patterns and effects of temperature, sea level change and ocean acidification, the challenge remains how to communicate this in a way that is informative but emotive and action-inspiring. A sci-art approach may be particularly valuable, as shown by many internationally successful examples, such as Cape Farewell, Platform LondonClimate Change Education.Org and “The Centre Cannot Hold,” an exploration of climate change, imperialism and migration.

1.     2° DIFFERENT : an ARTiculation of ocean warming

2.    What the Animals did Next: Climate Change Zoology.

This project integrates art and science imagery and text to tell the story of climate change from the viewpoint of a variety of animals: ‘celibate shags’ (Galapagos cormorants and El Nino), ‘the suddenly fragile polar bear’, ‘the end of the icefish’, ‘tuatara sex and a masculinised future’ etc.

3.   Engagement and ‘Zoo-empathy’: Romanticising Climate Change (with Eva Hayward & Oscar Hunter)

In communication, it is important to understand what brings a situation to life (Nietzsche’s creative ‘active surge’). Cognition theory and neurophysiology show that engaging emotion can facilitate cognitive interaction. Using less prescriptive narrative  and more visual & sensory storytelling, and other classical emotive approaches of Romanticism making real contemporary and future climate change. Here we explore these concepts in an inquiry about emotional engagement through non-mammalian representation/translation to progress climate change communication.

4.  Climate Change Working Group

How do we make the facts of climate change more clear and communicable? How do we share confidence to spread the word? In collaboration with APEC (Association of Polar Early Career Scientists) we have formed a working group formulating and distributing simple answers to key climate change questions.

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