Communications Toolkit

These resources have been collated for students and local government practitioners. We do not own, take credit or claim responsibility for them, but hope our efforts collecting and evaluating them will help you practice the way you communicate sustainability and climate change.

 
 
 
 

“Evidence-based policy is not enough. Without some appeal beyond logic to our deeper feelings and intuitions, any new narrative or big change is bound to fail.” (James Button—Speechwriter for Kevin Rudd, A year in my father’s business, 2012).

 
 
 
 

Books

 
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Death Sentence: The Decay of Public Language

Author: Don Watson
Year: 2003

A critical reflection into Australian public language, scathing, funny and brilliant for how not to write.

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Made to stick: Why some ideas survive and others die

Authors: Chip and Dan Heath
Year: 2007

Analyses why some ideas are ‘stickier’ than others and introduces the ‘SUCCES’ acronym, which stands for: simple, unexpected, concrete, credible, emotional and stories.

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The Science of Storytelling:Why Stories Make us human and how we can make them better

Author: Will Storr
Year: 2019

This book is a helpful tool to explore the nuances of storytelling and how to tell your story.

 
 

Websites

 

University of Melbourne: Why communicate science?

The University of Melbourne Science Communication Program was designed and is led by Dr. Jen Martin. Jen is an award-winning educator and science communicator.

Union Of Concerned Scientists Tips and Tools for science communication

A collection of resources and communication-training documents and tips for communicating with policy makers, the media and more.

American Association for the Advancement of Science

A toolkit including: communication fundamentals, communicating science online, and working with journalists.

 
 

Research

 

Science Communication Journal

Science Communication is an international, interdisciplinary social science journal that examines the nature of expertise, the diffusion of knowledge, and the communication of science and technology among professionals and to the public.

Unpacking the politics of natural capital and economic metaphors in environmental policy discourse (Coffey 2015)

In this article from International Politics, Brian Coffey explores the power of economic metaphors in environmentalism. He unpacks their power in framing not only problems, but solutions.

Mass Communication Research In Sustainability science (Smith, Suldovsky and Lindenfeld 2016)

Authors provide an overview of sustainability science and the types of work mass communication scholars can contribute to sustainability research and practice, including impacts on societal understandings of global and local issues.

 
 

Reports and Documents

 

A practitioner’s guide to communicating climate change (2019)

A thorough and practical guide for anyone who talks about the impact of climate, with a focus on lessons from Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Dupar, M., with McNamara, L. and Pacha, M. (2019). Communicating climate change: A practitioner’s guide. Cape Town: Climate and Development Knowledge Network.

Climate Knowledge Brokers’ Manifesto

The manifesto says that climate knowledge brokers - intermediary individuals and organisations - play a key role in filtering, tailoring and crafting information so that it is relevant to the people who need to use it.

Creating a democracy for everyone; strategies for increasing listening and engagement by government

The University of Technology Sydney and The London School of Economics and Political Science published a three-country study of how governments, corporations, and others listen to their stakeholders.

 
 

Apps and Software

 

Hemmingway

An app that analyses your text and gives feedback on its readability.

Grammarly

An app that can assist you with grammar and readability.

Goodreads

An app to help you keep track of and read reviews of books.

 
 

Videos

 

Tips for delivering a 3 minute thesis presentation

Sean McGraw’s insights into delivering your thesis concisely. Useful when having to present a thesis at a conference or to write an engaging summary for a broader (and general) audience.

Katharine Hayhoe’s CNN Interview: “Think with heart, not head”

An interview with atmospheric scientist Katharine Hayhoe speaking to Christiane Amanpour about the relationship between climate change, faith and politics.

Sciences and Storytelling

Lucy Hawking’s TEDX Talk in Salford, sharing her insights into the art of storytelling science.

 
 

Courses and Programs

 

Talking with the Media

This online course addresses any reservations you might have about engaging with journalists and packaging scientific information for non-scientists.

Pixar In A Box: The Art of Storytelling

What makes a story great? This lesson shares the experiences of Pixar directors and story artists. Find out how they got their start and what stories inspire them. Gain inspiration and techniques to compliment your own art of storytelling.

The A11Y ProjeCT

A project focused on web content accessibility. This program connects you to accessibility checkers for your web content. Useful in ensuring your content can be navigated by all.

 
 

News Articles

 

3 Lessons from behavioural economics hat bill shorten’s labor party forgot about

Tracey West, lecturer in Behavioural Finance at Griffith University writers in The Conversation about bounded rationality, loss aversion and the issues of communicating about now versus the distant future.

Why the guardian is changing the language it uses about the environment

Written by Damien Carrington, The Guardian’s Environment Editor. This article explores the importance of language in environmentalism and what role the media has to play in delivering climate news.

Language around the climate emergency

This article explores the impacts of language around climate emergency in the Canadian context.

 
 

Podcasts

 
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Hidden Brain - I’m Right and You’re Wrong

This episode of Hidden Brain explores the ways of changing minds with neuroscientist Tali Sharot. Tali explains the important role of storytelling and emotions in our understandings of what is factual and how it has and can be manipulated to promote action and inaction.

 
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Climactic

This podcast is a demonstration of another popular medium for science communication. This podcast explores the real world efforts people are making to act on climate change. Climactic explores these environmentalists struggles, successes and pearls of wisdom through artful conversation.

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The story collider: stories about science

Storycollider is an NGO that works in storytelling and science. They share personal stories about science. Check out their collection of science podcasts. This show presents