Markets for Public Attention at the Interface of Climate Science and Policy Making

Autor(en): Schenuit, Felix
Koch, Larissa
Jakob, Michael
Stichwörter: climate change research; Climate policy; Communication; Environmental Sciences & Ecology; Environmental Studies; information economics; knowledge production and use; MEDIA; PATHWAYS; science policy interface; UNCERTAINTY
Erscheinungsdatum: 2020
Herausgeber: ROUTLEDGE JOURNALS, TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD
Journal: ENVIRONMENTAL COMMUNICATION-A JOURNAL OF NATURE AND CULTURE
Volumen: 14
Ausgabe: 1
Startseite: 1
Seitenende: 5
Zusammenfassung: 
This paper examines biased incentives for the production and use of climate change research. On this basis, it proposes ways to restructure the science-policy interface to better deal with these biases. Drawing on insights from information economics, we argue that policy-makers and the media have a tendency to pay more attention to extreme results, e.g. because they confirm their ideological position or make a good story. This ``adverse selection'' of scientific results located at both ends of the distribution of scientific knowledge hence conveys the impression of more uncertainty than there actually is. In addition, this effect may also create ``moral hazard'' for scientists to engage in research that receives substantial public attention, e.g. by presenting point estimates instead of thoroughly discussing uncertainties and sensitivities of their results. To avoid that the market for public attention turns into a ``market for lemons'', we recommend that scientists should adopt the logic of assessment-making instead and rely more on meta-studies. We also highlight the importance of providing best-practice guidelines for the treatment of scientific uncertainty, incorporating the communication of uncertainty in university curricula and establishing face-to-face dialogue forums between researchers and policy makers.
ISSN: 17524032
DOI: 10.1080/17524032.2019.1688370

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