‘Engaged scientists’: personal and professional commitments among climate change researchers

Type: Panel
Theme: Expanding the Community of Geography
Sponsor Groups: Cultural and Political Ecology Specialty Group, Human Dimensions of Global Change Specialty Group, Ethics, Justice, and Human Rights Specialty Group, Careers and Professional Development
Poster #:
Day: 4/8/2020
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:15 AM
Room: Mineral Hall B/C, Hyatt Regency, Third Floor
Organizers: Maxwell Boykoff, Shelly Sommer
Chairs: Shelly Sommer


Is personal climate action a relevant and influential factor in the professional credibility of climate researchers? Natural and social scientists as well as humanities scholars who research dimensions of climate change may often ponder how our personal actions and commitments cohere and/or conflict with our professional efforts. In the current high-stakes, high-profile and highly-politicized spaces of climate science and policy, our private behaviors are now more frequently scrutinized in the public space. Our actions garner judgement, from commendation to condemnation. Some of this comes from our choices to share our private behaviors publicly but others come from unsolicited public appraisals. These judgments may be driven by deliberations of researcher credibility and expertise, debates over the appropriateness of these public/private interactions and reviews of one's responsibility/need to be visible leaders on both personal and professional action.

In this panel session, presenters will discuss challenges and opportunities associated with this state of affairs from their perspectives. They will also consider how this personal/professional dichotomy fits into and scale up to larger initiatives currently underway in the public sphere from the community to national/international level.

+ Cultural & Political Ecology Specialty Group,
+ Human Dimensions of Global Change Specialty Group,
+ Media & Communication Specialty Group,
+ Environmental Perception & Behavioral Geography Specialty Group,
+ Ethics, Justice & Human Rights Specialty Group


Type Details Minutes
Introduction Maxwell Boykoff University of Colorado 10
Discussant Ingrid Behrsin University of California, Davis 10
Panelist Chris Renschler University at Buffalo (SUNY) 10
Panelist Jennie DeMarco Western Colorado University 10
Panelist Diana Liverman University of Arizona 10

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