The 2011 4C awards
"Excellence deserves acknowledgment." That's the premise behind
Mason University's Center for Climate Change Communication(4C)
awards. Every year the university "honor[s] one person and one
organization for their excellence as climate change
The shortlist for 2011 has been announced and includes six
nominees in each category. Members of the public can vote for their
favourites until the 15th of April. The individual nominees have
backgrounds in climate science, campaigns and media; they include
Naomi Oreskes, Joe Romm and the UK's Tom Crompton.
Naomi Oreskes, celebrated academic and co-author of
Merchants of Doubt, is the awards' most high profile nominee.
Her scientific credentials are impressive but she is unique in
climate change communication for another reason. It is her
knowledge of the "historical evolution of the scientific,
political, social, and economic narratives in which climate change
research is embedded" that makes her outstanding, according to 4C.
Oreskes is also described as a champion of climate scientists and
"a colleague who exhausts superlatives".
Joe Romm's vociferous blogging has been lauded before by the
likes of Time magazine so it is no surprise to see him nominated at
4C. The man behind ClimateProgress.org has a
phenomenal work rate and routinely posts several short-essay length
updates a day. An expert in renewable energy, 4C writes,
"Romm helps drive an important public conversation not just about
the science of climate change, but what to do about it."
Sharing a nomination three ways is the innovative team behind
the newly established Climate Science Rapid
Response Team (CSRRT). John Abraham, Scott Mandia and Ray
Weyman. The CSRRT is a new online service that connects journalists
and lawmakers to climate scientists with the aim of improving the
public representation of climate science.
Tom Crompton of WWF UK has been nominated in recognition of his
novel campaigning methods that encourage collaboration between
academics and activists. As laid out in his book, Weathercocks and
Signposts (2008), Crompton's approach is open and inclusive and has
made him a powerful climate communicator.
Other scientists have also been nominated. Jay Gulledge is
Director of the Science and Impacts Program at the US based Pew
Center on Global Climate Change. The 4C awards have praised his
participation in producing "numerous fact sheets,
figures, and briefs for a non-expert audience" and his
involvement in the Centre's
Climate Change 101 series.
The US's Susan
Joy Hassol has been chosen for her massive contribution to
numerous scientific assessments, which include "two National
Climate Assessments, the Arctic Assessment, two major Synthesis and
Assessment Reports, and two Intergovernmental Panel on Climate
Change (IPCC) Assessments." Among her many virtues, the 4C awards
praise her ability to translate complex scientific findings into
everyday language while "remain[ing] true to the scientific
integrity of the material".
Some impressive organisations have been nominated in the award's
second category, including one of our long-time favourites, Skeptical Science. Also
nominated are the Union of Concerned Scientists, the Earth
Journalism Network, the Sea Grant Climate Network, Climate Change
Media Partnerhip and the Alliance for Climate Education.
You can read full biographies of all the individuals and
organisations on 4C's webpage.
Don't forget to cast your vote!