Events & Media



"Whom You Talk to About Climate Change Matters"

Lisa Leombruni
Research Director, NOVA
Lecturer, Bren School of Environmental Science & Management

Monday, Oct. 13, 2014
12:00 - 1:00 p.m.
Bren Hall 1414

"Dr. Leombruni's research on how non-scientists talk about climate change provides a bridge between science and public opinion. Her insights will help us communicate effectively with the public on climate and other controversial environmental issues."

— Sarah Anderson, Bren School Faculty Host

Lisa Leombruni

While scientific consensus on climate change has only grown with increasing evidence, a robust minority of Americans still continues to deny its existence and consider it to be a controversial issue.

So how do Americans form attitudes about climate change? Predicting climate attitudes based on personal values, environmental attitudes, and political ideology, as has been done before, does not account for dynamic social interaction as a source of influence. My work shows that whom you talk to, how frequently, and about what can predict climate change skepticism and belief strength. This means that public information campaigns, environmental policymakers, and managers must not only take care in crafting messages to targeted audiences, but also understand and anticipate who propagates these messages—and to whom.

Lisa Leombruni currently works for NOVA / WGBH Boston, where she develops ideas and writes grants for upcoming NOVA television series and special projects, including NSF-funded research. She also oversees the evaluation and impact of all broadcast, digital media, and educational outreach. Dr. Leombruni has research experience in environmental and social science: she has worked on a diversity of topics, including how people form attitudes about complex science, persuasion and environmental messaging, determining pesticide exposure among golfers, identifying cystic fibrosis mutations in high-risk populations, early drug development for Alzheimer’s disease, and chemical communication between diurnal fireflies. Dr. Leombruni also lectures on environmental communication and media at the Bren School, where she teaches the introductory course for the Strategic Environmental Communication & Management Focus, a program and curriculum she co-developed and continues to help shape. She has also taught environmental film and media courses and communication theory in the Departments of Communication and Film & Media Studies at UCSB, and was a teaching assistant for field biology at Brandeis University. She earned her PhD in environmental communication from UCSB, holds a Master of Environmental Science from the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, and has a BA in Biology from Brandeis University.

NOTE: Research colloquia are hosted by Bren faculty members and are generally high-level talks about research in a particular area of environmental science and management.


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