Science and the Public Sphere Seminar: 'The Experience of Nature: Ecology in the Public Space'

Conversation with Anne-Caroline Prevôt (CNRS, UMR Centre d’Écologie et des Sciences de la Conservation - CESCO)

foule science publicsphere


To attend this online seminar, please register here:

Conversations on Climate Science, Ecology, and Public Communication

Online, Zoom.

Convenor: Mogens Lærke (Maison Française d’Oxford)

In these short seminars taking the form of informal conversations we discuss the ways in which climate scientists and ecologists can most efficiently communicate their results to policy makers and to the public. Scientists and science writers have adopted different rhetorical strategies to get the message across, but the doubtless most persistent approach has been to publicise surveys offering quantitative measures of scientific consensus. For example, just prior to the Bonn Climate Summit in 2017, 15.364 scientists signed a common document warning about the dire ecological state of the planet which was published in the international newspaper (Le Monde), at the exact intersection of the scientific community and the public sphere. Some research suggests that such surveys have the desired impact, other that it does not. In any case, a wide range of other rhetorical models have also been suggested as more efficient alternatives, borrowed from journalism, screen play writing, medical case stories, historiography of science, literary writing, experiential learning, and so on. For example, some authors of the most recent IPCC report (2021) have stressed the importance of “story telling” for the way they have devised their part of the report. The conversations will explore these various models of communication, experience, and public engagement with respect to climate science and ecology.

Programme (NB: all times are UK)

12 October, 5-6pm: Joshua Ettinger (Geography and the Environment, Oxford): “Climate Science Goes to Hollywood: Storytelling and Screenwriting.” To sign up:

9 November, 5-6pm: Anne-Caroline Prevôt (CNRS-CESCO, Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle): “The Experience of Nature: Ecology in the Public Space.”

1 December, 5-6pm: Sarah Dry (Department of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Cambridge): “Historiography of Climate Science.” To sign up:


Science and the Public Sphere is a recurrent interdisciplinary seminar at the MFO launched in January 2021 which explores the complicated interface between scientific communities and civil society from a variety of angles, both historical, sociological, political, and philosophical. It includes a variety of events in different formats, both on-site and online, destined for both an academic and a broader audience.

Conveners: Mogens LaerkePascal Marty and Judith Rainhorn (MFO)