Think the AMS doesn’t speak with one voice?

Then check out this remarkable visual created by Dr. Joanna Boehnert (a visiting fellow at CIRES) and posted on her Ecolabs blog:


Here’s how Dr. Boehnert describes the graphic: The poster illustrates relationships between prominent actors and major organizations participating in climate communication. These include: science institutions, media organizations, think tanks, government departments, non-governmental organization (NGOs) and individuals – along with some of the more significant funders. Actors are situated within four discursive realms: climate science; counter-movements (contrarianism); ecological modernization (often neoliberalism); and social movements (climate justice). These four discourses are mapped on a framework wherein actors are colour-coded according to where they are situated. In this first version the colour, the size of the circles and their positions are all speculative. Subsequent versions will use different methods for plotting the actors and linking the nodes.

Looking for the AMS? It’s the (rather small, and focused) dark grey circle just a tad above dead center in the “climate science” discursive realm. Her website’s original visual provides a magnifying cursor that will help you explore.

Those inside the AMS 13,000+ member community might say, “Wait a minute! I know my fellow AMS members, and they’re scattered all over the diagram, from Naomi Klein to Jim Hansen to Sarah Palin to Al Gore (all represented as dots on the figure).” But Jodi Boehnert’s diagram captures much of how the outside world sees our institution; and that external, much-broader and more diverse public sees us as more narrow-spectrum than we might see ourselves.

The graphic is thought-provoking and merits reflection and study. You’ll find other great visuals on communication of climate and environmental issues on her blog. Their creator tells us these depictions are works in progress; you might want to give her some feedback and encouragement.

Dr. Boehnert is early career. The forecast? We can expect great things from her in the years ahead.

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