Climate Change Denial: A Workshop at COP26

27 October 2021

The academics from Climate Change Leadership at Uppsala University will host a workshop at the Nordic Pavillion about ways to engage with – or disengage from – climate denial debates. Science denial is a serious bottleneck for climate policymaking. The aim of this workshop is to more fully describe climate denial and develop counteractive strategies with researchers, policymakers and other stakeholders.

Image mapping how science denial plays a role in science and policy delay in Karlsson’s 2020 paper. Read more here


A transdisciplinary workshop at COP26

We are delighted to have the opportunity to work through the questions of denial together with colleagues from across the Nordics to understand how the tricky information landscape can be worked with in order to transcend denial and misinformation during public discussion and debate. It a growing concern here within Uppsala University that there is a challenge engaging the public online and in person with questions about climate change. We see this very often, for example, in comments below our social media posts about climate science. This is not an isolated concern, however, with many actors involved in the conversation around the world about the role of social media in the age of information and misinformation saturation. We will host this workshop at the global meeting for climate negotiations in order to explore new ways of working through this challenge.

What can we scientists do?

One of the goals in post-graduate education is to equip young academics with the skills to contribute their scientific output in societal development and debate. But how to do so in a world of polarising information and misinformation? Our workshop will pilot a method for developing counteractive strategies with colleagues from across the Nordics and provide them the opportunity to pose their questions, to share their practises and to deepen their understandings of the ways in which denial can limit public debate. Together with policymakers and other stakeholders we anticipate a discussion that will develop concrete proposals for action and deepened understandings of the experiences of denial across the public sector. We will asses this method with feedback from participants at COP26 and then follow this up with a workshop at Uppsala University.

You can read more about the work of Mikael Karlsson and Science Denial here. At Uppsala University we also have scholars engaging with this and related issues at the EU level: Conspiracy in Europe, and Responding to Disinformation in the EU.


Contact Us

Science communication and climate change misinformation is an area of key concern for us at Climate Change Leadership. We welcome your reflections and thoughts, so please do not hesitate to connect with us about our future work in this area and questions for this workshop in particular! You can tweet @CCLUPPSALA or email laila.mendy@geo.uu.se


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