Conference: Different Voices, Different Stories? Perspectives on Language Use in Climate Change Text and Talk. Bergen, mid-October 2012.
Climate change is one of the most pressing issues facing humanity today. The conference will be a meeting place to dis cuss the role of language in the climate debate for a multidisciplinary group of researchers and users across a number of sectors. The event will be a unique meeting place between research and potential users of this research. Such meeting places have bee n called for in order to create a better understanding of the global challenges of climate change and thus allow for a more informed debate. The topics of the conference will address aspects of communication about climate change which are considered to be vital to politicians, industry, NGOs, journalists and educators.
Human values and belief systems have a clear influence on human responses and lead to different attitudes and preferences for courses of action or inaction. Research shows that the meaning that people ascribe to climate change (e.g. their understanding of the phenomenon, their perception of risks involved, the corresponding value judgments and emotional reactions) is closely related to how climate change is portrayed in the communication.
T he conference contributions will come from two main groups, academics and non-academics (users). With the role of language and language use as the core, the programme will focus on consensus and controversy as well as on representations and interpretation s of the key concepts of complexity and uncertainty inherent in both the scientific knowledge and the communication of the climate issue.
The contributions at the conference will be in the form of short keynotes followed by a comprehensive and focused dis cussion between researchers, politicians, journalists, activists as well as the general public.