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Climate change, interdisciplinarity and scientific communication

Abstract

The INCT Climate Change Phase 2 (INCT-MC) project includes Communication as one of its cross-cutting sub-themes. Although the entry of social sciences into the study of climate change is quite recent, it is already possible to identify problems and challenges for an effective interdisciplinarity, and this compromises scientific communication strategies. Interdisciplinary work requires a reflexive dynamic that allows overcoming practices crystallized in the institutions and in the research routine, including the unrealistic expectations that the partners have of each other, the nature of the data and the tendency of a discipline to dominate the research process. The contribution of Dr Guivant (in the interface with environmental sociology and social studies of science and technology) will be relevant to the understanding of expectations and perceptions among the Program researchers about the meanings given to the relations between the social and natural world, the sociotechnical transitions necessary in Brazil to reduce carbon emissions (including conflicts, negotiations, debates, learning, alliances, etc.), the meanings of scientific communication and how the demands of the lay public (companies, consumers, social movements, public policy makers, media, investors, etc.) are interpreted as social actors with an agency. The answers to these questions are relevant to avoid the deficit model in scientific communication, stimulating better communication strategies between the public and the Program researchers. Also, the research will contribute to the global academic literature on the role of interdisciplinarity in the study of climate change with future public engagements aimed at building a democratic dialogue on how to achieve the necessary transformations to address the risks.Its work plan includes: 1) Bibliographic survey on the challenges of interdisciplinary research on climate change and preparation of material for dissemination / debate among the teams of the transversal themes of the Program. 2) Since the research involves conducting interviews, the researcher will submit the project to the Human Sciences Research Ethics Committee at Unicamp. 3) Organization of bimonthly internal seminars to discuss relevant texts on scientific communication challenges. 4) Conducting interviews with a sample of researchers (with different levels of professional experience) on different transversal themes that participate in the Program. The interviews will be recorded for later analysis. 5) Conducting focus groups. 6) The analysis of the collected data will allow a systematization of the obstacles and expectations of the research participants. With this material it will be possible to consider strategies to overcome some of the identified problems. 6) organization of a workshop, where the conclusions of the research will be presented and discussed. 7) the correlation between the conclusions of research on interdisciplinarity (systematized in the initial bibliographic survey) and the conclusions of the field research proposed here should illuminate future strategies for interdisciplinary research on climate change within the objectives of the Program. (AU)

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