One of the key objectives of the World Federation of Science Journalists is to build the capacity of media professionals to undertake engaging and accurate science journalism. Science professionals need exactly the same ethos when tackling the most urgent environmental crises humanity is facing today, such as climate change and biodiversity loss. It is not enough for a scientific message about human-environmental interaction to be accurate. It should be emotionally engaging as well, or run the risk of losing its intended policy impact. Relying on recent advances in cognitive sciences, I explore ways in which scientific messages can be both empirically valid and cognitively attractive.
Janne I. Hukkinen (born 1957; PhD, University of California, Berkeley, 1990; MSc, Helsinki University of Technology, Finland, 1984) is professor of environmental policy at the University of Helsinki. He studies the cognitive aspects of sustainability assessment and strategy, with empirical applications in participation and expertise in environmental and technology policy. He is the author of Sustainability Networks (2008) and Institutions in Environmental Management (1999), both published by Routledge. He won the Harold D. Lasswell award for the best article in the journal Policy Sciences in 1990.