Scientists Push for Better Climate Reporting

Dan Fatton, ECS Director of Development & Membership Services, recently came across this article on the validity of climate reporting from Columbia Journalism Review.

The internet is a wonderful place to express opinions, foster ideas, and gain knowledge. However, sometimes facts an opinions swirl together, creating content presented as truth with very little credibility.

This issue is specifically prevalent in the area of climate change. Now, the (somewhat ironically named) group known as Climate Feedback is working to improve the credibility of climate journalism on the web.

The group is composed of scientists, oceanographers, and atmospheric physicists who are trying to implement a review process to stop the flow of misinformation about climate change. They’re doing this through the use of a browser plugin to annotate climate journalism. The plugin will be able to provide readers with comments from experts and rate an article based on its accuracy, fairness, and adherence to evidence.

“We are trying to bring more scientific point of view on what is said about climate change,” says Emmanuel Vincent, a climate scientist at the University of California, Merced’s Center for Climate Communication and the group’s ringleader. “Climate change has been taken a little bit outside of the realm of science.”

While the plugin is still in the process of development, there are already 25 contributing scientists on board. Any scientist can apply as long as they’re actively publishing climate research.

The plugin will act as a fact-checker, but the ultimate goal is to encourage scientific thinking in journalism and build more communication between the two parties.

For accurate, scientific information on climate change, head over to our Digital Library to see what’s happening around the world with climate.


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