Major research project: What gets us to make smart choices for the climate?
The research programme aims to design new ways of understanding and conducting environmental communication in Sweden and internationally and has now been granted a four-year extension with a total of 54 million SEK in research funds.
Clear signals from researchers
“Environmental scientists are clearer than ever about what will happen if we ignore their warnings. Nevertheless, it is difficult to get organisations and individuals to change and do what is required for a sustainable future society. It is clear that research in the humanities and social sciences is needed to understand why we are not acting in line with what is required, and how it can be improved,” noted Jutta Haider.
The Swedish School of Library and Information Science's researchers, with Professor Jutta Haider as Project Leader, will use their expertise in how data and information can have meaning in people's everyday lives.
“Among other things, we will investigate how people use weather apps and flood warning apps to adapt. These are examples of how scientific data becomes relevant in everyday life,” explained Jutta Haider.
Within the project, the researchers will also investigate how textile manufacturing becomes traceable throughout the entire manufacturing chain and what role transparency plays for trust in this context.
“Trust is crucial for how we interpret what we encounter and plays a central role in changing behaviour,” said Jutta Haider.
Make flaws visible
The third element to be examined also focuses on trust and data. Here, the researchers will investigate how conflicting goals for climate change become visible through the spread of misleading information online.
The overall ambition of the research programme is to integrate a broad and advanced understanding of environmental communication in research, policy, and politics with the aim of strengthening Sweden's transition to a more sustainable society. The new grant will build on the work carried out within the project that has just ended, 2020–2023.
Facts about Mistra Environmental Communications
The project is an interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary research programme that brings together academics from several universities. The programme is coordinated by the Swedish University of Agriculture (SLU) and the consortium includes Uppsala University, Lund University, the Swedish School of Library and Information Science at the University of Borås, Loughborough University, the University of the Sunshine Coast, and the University of Texas, as well as partners in municipalities and authorities, the cultural sector and the media, as well as business, industry, and civil society. The purpose of these collaborations is to cover a wide range of sustainability issues and perspectives, create broad societal anchoring and enable knowledge exchange.
The researchers participating in the sub-project Information cultures, data and technology in environmental communication under the leadership of Jutta Haider are Elisa Tattersall Wallin, Björn Ekström, Carin Graminius, and Emma Román from the Swedish School of Library and Information Science, Malte Rödl and René van der Wal from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, and Shiv Ganesh from the University of Texas.
Partner organisations: Swedish Library Association, Wikimedia Foundation Sweden, Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, Search Studies Group (Hamburg University of Applied Sciences), and Nudie Jeans.