A Knowledge Map of Climate Communication Research

Authors: Chelsea R. Canon*, University of Nevada, Doulgas P. Boyle, University of Nevada, Katherine J. Hepworth, University of Nevada
Topics: Communication, Climatology and Meteorology, Media and Communication
Keywords: climate communication, coproduction, climate services, network analysis, knowledge map, science communication, data visualization
Session Type: Virtual Poster
Day: 4/9/2021
Start / End Time: 11:10 AM / 12:25 PM
Room: Virtual 51
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

The field of climate communication has seen pronounced growth in the past twenty years, as scholars from sciences, social sciences, and humanities combine forces to search for the key to inspiring climate action. This diversity is an asset, but makes it challenging to gain a clear picture of what is known, what is not known, and what needs to be known about climate-specific communication techniques. To support current researchers, newcomers, and practitioners navigating this complex research landscape, we used bibliometric network analysis of 2,500 climate communication publications from Web of Science to build a knowledge map of climate communication research. Similar to a geographic map of a landscape, the climate communication knowledge map offers a bird’s eye view of the knowledge domain, revealing its overall structure and the connections between different areas of knowledge. Results from the network analysis and visualization show that climate communication is highly interconnected overall, with core topics like risk perception, media messages, and visuals each participating in a thriving exchange. However, climate services and coproduction are isolated from these core topics, suggesting possible challenges in moving climate communication from theory to application. This research is of interest to geographers because many of us are climate communicators, even if we primarily work in climate science, climate services, coproduction, planning, environmental justice, or other subfields. Further, this application of knowledge mapping offers a template that can be followed for surveying and synthesizing other interdisciplinary research areas in which geographers frequently participate.

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