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Inter-disciplinary, multi-scale science to support society to adapt under global change

McDonald, Karlie S., Hobday, Alistair J., Gaitán-Espitia, Juan Diego
Marine & freshwater research 2019 v.70 no.1 pp. 1-7
climate, climate change, communications technology, ecosystems, scientists, society, stakeholders
Factualised storytelling narratives may assist scientists to communicate inter-disciplinary, multi-scale climate change research with stakeholders and non-expert members of the community. Scientists are increasingly required to balance scientific rigour with storytelling narratives that can facilitate climate change mitigation and adaptation as new communication technologies evolve. In this editorial to the research front, ‘Climate impacts on marine system structure and function: molecules to ecosystems’, a review of climate change coverage in the media since 1980 showed that climate change science had a substantial voice globally and, in particular, in countries with carbon-dependent economies. However, the effective communication of multi-scale climate change research in the media can be complicated by the complex messages, the lack of training scientists receive in communication, and the traditionally distant relationship that the scientific community has with the media and, more so, with the broader community. Considerable scientific effort is being made to overcome these challenges as additional responsibility is placed on the scientific community to produce newsworthy scientific outputs. However, the integration of inter-disciplinary, multi-scale information, such as outlined in this research front, can result in more holistic climate change stories that scientists can effectively communicate with stakeholders and the broader community.