Published 2018-11-22

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SEK 60 million for environmental communication

There has been a great deal of important research on climate and the environment, but the results are not always applied.
Mistra is therefore starting a programme to improve communication on environmental and sustainability issues.

Mistra’s new call for proposals on environmental communication is innovative both in content and by virtue of its size. There are hopes that the results will be put to use without delay.

Referring to the call, Malin Lindgren (Programmes Director) says: ‘We hope the results will be distributed widely, and promptly too. For some of Mistra’s research findings it may, of course, take time before they are used. However, in this initiative, we hope the results can be applied immediately.’

The call focuses primarily on the existing gap between knowledge and action. Today, much important research on the environment and climate is not put to use, and thus does not lead to improvements and changes.

The reasons for this are complex, but some of the explanations probably lie in our receptiveness to information on environmental and sustainability issues, Lindgren believes.

‘It’s a complicated issue that includes, for example, aspects of trust, acceptance, ideas about the future and the fact that the landscape of communication has changed.’

The initiative is unique in terms of its size (SEK 60 million, of which SEK 54m will come from Mistra, over four years), but also its breadth.

‘We want to see an interdisciplinary programme that involves possible areas including psychology, pedagogy, sociology, rhetoric, environmental history, economics, strategic communication, media studies, technology and science studies, and more.

Are there differences between scientific and environmental communication?

‘It will certainly be possible to apply the research results to all research communication, but we want the focus of this research to be on environmental issues. Hence the name,’ Lindgren says.

The call for proposals is open until 6 March. More information about the initiative is available here.

Text: Thomas Heldmark