Presentation

Scientific culture continues to permeate the contemporary world due to its application in all social spheres. It is increasingly prominent in informing public policy, touching areas such as health, technology, the environment and the economy. The transfer of scientific concepts, languages and theories to daily life has helped define popular culture in unprecedented ways. Now, the social centrality of challenges such as climate change can only be understood in light of the significance of cultural transfers from science to the popular arena, and the interactions between the two spheres.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has designed a rigorous and consensual scientific base for realistic and effective policies that address climate risks. Here, uncertainty is not so much generated by the climate sciences themselves as by what has been labelled the ‘social factor’: the social, economic and political interpretations that condition responses to the threat of climate change.

The ‘social factor’ is the form in which the population perceives and assigns importance to evaluates climate change. It is crucial to defining any specific response action and conditions citizen pressure on decision-makers to adopt more consequential response policies. It also influences personal disposition to accept and adopt significant lifestyle changes related to the fossil fuel energy model.

The RESCLIMA project addresses the relationship between science and popular culture in social representations of climate change: contributions to education and communication on climate risks.  It explores the complex logic involved in the construction of popular knowledge and the role that scientific culture plays in popular thinking on climate change. RESCLIMA responds to the need for greater understanding of the ‘social factor’ in climate change, to better inform the design of policies, programmes and educational/communicational resources regarding general and specific socio-environmental issues. This web site is designed to facilitate public interface with the project, to make known its most prominent results from the very earliest phases, and to generate multi-directional information pathways with other researchers and with society in general.