Visible Differences: Communicating with Non-Scientific Audiences

By Liz C. Throop.

Published by The International Journal of Climate Change: Impacts and Responses

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Presenting scientific information alone may not convert skeptics into believers about climate change. However, many of those already concerned about the crisis could use a better understanding of its mechanisms. In fact, many of the people who are most interested in addressing the social and political aspects of climate change may have little familiarity with conventional scientific communications. Clear and understandable information can help this audience prioritize their conservation efforts, gain confidence in their opinions, and solidify a base of support for climate awareness. Information visualizations, if configured for these readers, can play a key part in making scientific texts more understandable and memorable. This paper provides examples of information visualizations in popular climate-change related texts, and suggests practices to assure effective visual communications.

Keywords: Visual Communication, Scientific Literacy

The International Journal of Climate Change: Impacts and Responses, Volume 4, Issue 2, pp.149-157. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 594.742KB).

Liz C. Throop

Associate Professor, School of Art and Design, Georgia State University, Atlanta, USA

Liz C. Throop has practiced graphic design since 1985 and written numerous articles about visual communications, including, “Being Serious, Being Popular” in Design Studies. Her illustrations about climate change and reproduction have appeared on sites including Treehugger.com, TheSocietyPages.com, Commondreams.com, ClimateAction2.com, ClimateNewsWatch.com, CPGTrends.com, GrowingaGreenFamily.com, 100 Days of Active Resistance, and on her website, Populational.com.

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