Issues in Communicating Scientific Uncertainty

April 15, 2016 1:00 pm — 2:30 pm


Scientific uncertainty is a component of many environmental and public health issues, such as climate change or the use of biotechnology. While some uncertainty is inevitable, the ways in which various professions communicate uncertainty also shape those debates, from the interpretation of scientific data to its dissemination for a mass audience to its use in advocacy and policymaking.

Prior to a similarly-themed workshop (funded by the National Science Foundation’s Paleoclimate Program), this webinar will examine the different roles that scientists, lawyers, and media professionals play in addressing scientific uncertainty, in part due to differing professional norms and ethical standards. Our experts will provide their perspectives on effectively communicating scientific information, practicing climate and weather journalism in a shifting media environment, and translating uncertainty into policy. Both workshop participants and the general public are invited to participate in the webinar.


Jay Austin, Senior Attorney, Environmental Law Institute (moderator)

Sunshine MenezesExecutive Director, Metcalf Institute for Marine & Environmental Reporting, University of Rhode Island   

Jason SamenowWeather Editor, Washington Post

Margaret DavidsonSenior Leader, Coastal Inundation and Resilience, NOAA