Climate Change - Why facts and opinions are both important

Event details


4 September 2014


Robertson Lecture Theatre, RN Robertson Building #46, Biology Place, Australian National University


  • Professor Michael Raupach
  • Professor Mike Smithson
  • Ms Heather Bruer
  • Dr Will Grant

This forum was the third in the 2014 Fenner Fora Series "Energy, Fire, Climate, Water - Fenner Fora 2014. 

For more than a decade, an overwhelming amount of scientific work has revealed the current impacts and future risks that climate change poses to human and natural systems. The latest report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) shows there is a high degree of scientific consensus that human-caused climate change is happening. However, public understanding of subject is relatively poor and public support to climate change action remains volatile. As a result, there lacks a political consensus and commitment to addressing this imminent threat. 

This begs the question of whether there exists a disconnect between scientists, policymakers and the general public and what can be done to bridge the gap. The panel discussed the challenges of communication climate change science, particularly evaluating how scientific facts on climate change are delivered and perceived by the public as well as implications for policy. The forum also explored strategies to improve public understanding and public support for action.

The speakers included:  

Professor Michael Raupach (Director of the ANU Climate Change Institute)

Professor Mike Smithson (Research School of Psychology, ANU)

Dr Will Grant (Centre for Public Awareness of Science, ANU)

Ms Heather Bruer (Australian Youth Climate Change Coalitian, Master of Climate Change (Research Student)

Updated:  24 June 2018/Responsible Officer:  Director Fenner School/Page Contact:  Webmaster Fenner School