Communicating With Art

According to prevailing theories regarding the effectiveness of science journalism, we have a science communication problem – a problem that contributes to the phenomenon of climate change denial and resistance to accurate facts about the environment. This case study presents preliminary data illuminating attitudes of planetary science exhibition participants who used their art and photography to communicate messages about the state of the planet. The data suggests that presenting scientific concepts in an artistic context has the potential to increase both scientist enthusiasm about communicating with the public and the public’s interest in science.

Musicians and artists have frequently used their works to communicate about science and express concerns about environmental issues. The melding of art and science might, in fact, be an appealing and effective way to convey to the public the environmental values necessary to both shape pro-social environmental behaviors and to encourage acquisition of the knowledge and skills required to distinguish scientific fact from fiction.

-Dr. Susan E. Swanberg, 2020