Overline: IASS Workshop
Headline: Climate Change and the Politics of Disinformation: Implications for Democratic Governance

As the evidence for disruptive climate change has mounted over the last decades, organized attacks on climate science have grown, along with the production of large volumes of disinformation that has discouraged more decisive political action. This workshop examines the organization and the political aims of these attacks, the role of social and conventional media in their spread, and the importance of radical right movements and parties in providing visible public support. A primary goal is to draw lessons for improving the clarity, public reach, and policy impact of science communication.

Speakers will examine the social, psychological, political, and communication aspects of campaigns against science in order to explain how public doubt and political resistance are constructed, and to understand the impact on policy processes. Participants in the workshop will join breakout sessions with each speaker following the talks for open discussion and exploration of future research and action agendas.

The workshop is open to 30-40 participants from IASS, from the Summer School, and from the Berlin-Potsdam scientific community. The format is designed to promote interaction among these participants, with the aim of networking researchers and policy advocates to better address the challenges to science-based policy making.

Workshop organizers: Lance Bennett, Frank Fischer, Dorota Stasiak

Conference registration: There are no fees, but space is limited. For registration, please click here.  The deadline for registration is August 8, 2019.

Program (PDF):

9.30         Coffee and welcome in the Villa

9. 45        Introductory Remarks:  Patrizia Nanz

10.00      The Political Organization of Disinformation about Climate Science,

Lance Bennett, IASS, and University of Washington, Seattle
Moderator: Ira Shefer, IASS

10. 45             Climate Denial and Think Tanks: Organizations, Knowledge Networks    
                       and Funding
Dieter Plehwe WZB Berlin
Moderator: Sonja Thielges, IASS

11.30       Coffee and networking

12.00       Breakout sessions with
a) Dieter Plehwe and  Sonja Thielges
b) Lance Bennett and Ira Shefer

13.00       Lunch in the garden

14.00         Social Media and the Spread of Disinformation: The Role of Uncertainty in the Climate Change Discussions

Speaker: Stefanie Walter,Center for Media, Communication and Information Research, University of Bremen
Moderator: Danniel Gobbi, Ministry of Economy, Brazil and Free University, Berlin

14. 45     Climate Denial and Post Truth: Rethinking Policy Advice
Speaker: Frank Fischer, IASS and Humboldt University, Berlin
Moderator: Maria Proestou, Institute for the Transformation of  Human-Environmental Systems, Humboldt University, Berlin

15.30       Coffee break and networking

16.00       Breakouts:
a) Frank Fischer and Maria Proestou
b) Charlotte Unger; IASS and Danniel Gobbi, Free University

16.45       Closing Panel: How Should Scientists and Policy Makers Respond?

Moderator: Frank Fischer, IASS and Humboldt University, Berlin
Speaker: Stephan Lewandowsky, University of Bristol
Responses and reflections: Kathleen Mar, IASS and Edgar Göll, Institute for Futures Studies and Technology Assessment, Berlin

                 Closing Comments:

Mark Lawrence, IASS

19: 00      Joint dinner with IASS Summer School Participants