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The Ethics of Green Advertising

The Promises and Pitfalls of Green Consumption

Did you miss the first Media Ethics Initiative research presentation of Fall 2017? Watch Dr. Lucy Atkinson (UT Austin) talk about the promises and pitfalls of green consumption on Youtube!

Ethics and Climate Communication

The Media Ethics Initiative Presents:

Ethics and the Appeal to Scientific Consensus in the Climate Change Debates

Dr. Jean GoodwinJG pic

Professor of Communication

North Carolina State University

November 14, 2017 —  2:00-3:30PM

BMC 5.208

What are the ethical choices being made when arguers claim that there is a scientific consensus backing their stance on climate change? Is this a simple claim to make, or a complex ethical choice that limits other possibilities in discussing the changing climate? Contemporary argumentation theory has shown that arguers themselves are responsible for creating the local ethical terrain in which they are obligated to make and consider good arguments. Since the first Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report in 1990, scientists and their allies have imposed on themselves an obligation to build climate policy  on the firm foundation of a scientific consensus. More than a quarter century later, it is now apparent that this obligation cannot be met. The interminable debates over consensus have distorted public deliberations about vital issues of climate policy and created enemy climate tribes. It is time to stop. Rhetoricians–who should have known better from the beginning–can point to more productive approaches to this contentious issue.

Dr. Jean Goodwin, a professor in the Department of Communication at North Carolina State University, studies how scientists can communicate appropriately and effectively to non-expert audiences. She took her baby steps in research by examining how citizens who deeply disagree can nevertheless manage to reason with each other. The communication techniques she uncovered among ancient Roman orators and contemporary policy advocates have proved surprisingly relevant to the challenges scientists face when they try to earn trust in controversial contexts. Goodwin uses discourse analysis to tease out the ways outstanding scientist-communicators address difficult audiences on topics such as GMOs and climate change. She also uses conceptual analysis to connect these practices to broader theories of the responsibilities and roles scientists can undertake in civic life. Her National Science Foundation-funded project, Teaching Responsible Communication of Science, crafted case studies that invite science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) graduate students to address communication challenges based on actual events.

Free and open to the UT community and general public

For further information, contact Dr. Scott Stroud

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[Video here]

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The Ethics of Green Advertising

The Media Ethics Initiative Presents:

Can We Shop Our Way to a Better Planet? The Promises and Pitfalls of Green Consumption

Dr. Lucy Atkinson, University of Texas at Austin

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September 21, 11AM-12PM, CMA 5.136

From organic bananas and Fair-trade coffee to hybrid cars and canvas shopping bags: sustainable consumption is increasingly seen as a solution to the environmental problems brought on by climate change. Dr. Atkinson will present research that examines the ways green advertising and other persuasive environmental messages encourage consumers to adopt pro-social, civic-minded orientations in the marketplace, and the ethical questions that arise.

Lucy Atkinson is an associate professor in the Stan Richards School of Advertising and Public Relations at the University of Texas at Austin. Her primary area of research focuses on the intersection of politics and consumer behavior, particularly among young people. For example, she explores whether and to what degree socially conscious consumption, such as buying fair-trade coffee or hybrid cars, either helps or hinders conventional civic and political engagement, such as voting and volunteering. A second stream of research explores the roles of consumption and media use in fostering identity. Her recent work in this vein has studied brand communities in online social networking sites and how individuals think of themselves and their profiles as online brands. She teaches classes in advertising history, public relations, journalism, research methods, media effects and consumer behavior.

Free and open to the UT community and general public

For further information, contact Dr. Scott Stroud

Follow us on Facebook

[Video of talk here]


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