IAMCR 2012 - Environment, Science and Risk Communication Working Group Call for Papers

erythrina_caffraThe Environment, Science and Risk Communication Working Group invites submissions of abstracts for papers for the 2012 IAMCR conference to be held from July 15-19, 2012 at the Howard College Campus of the University of KwaZulu Natal (UKZN) in Durban, South Africa. The deadline for submissions is February 14, 2012.

The conference will be held under the general theme, 'South-North Conversations'. The theme reflects the asymmetry of global communication flows, but without implying the negatives that usually accompany discussions of the 'digital divide'. The theme also calls for balanced and empowering narratives that do not regard those in ‘the South’ as victims primarily in need of handouts from the more affluent. The general conference theme is thus highly relevant to the increasingly global communication themes and concerns that are central to the Environment, Science and Risk Communication Group.

Papers from the full range of environment-science-risk-communication topics and perspectives will be considered, and those relating to the conference theme ‘South-North Conversations’ will be particularly welcome.

Key themes for the Durban sessions of the Working Group will include:

  • Uneven access to technological, political and social capital in the context of science/environment/risk communication
  • Visual media constructions of the environment
  • Asymmetrical news and information flows in environmental communication
  • Environmental disasters, corporate spin and news management
  • Media and global environmental change and controversy
  • Fighting back: empowerment of the local, the regional and sustainable integration into the global
  • Media and public understanding of science/environment issues
  • Science and health-related media panics
  • Science/environmental journalism
  • Media-communication roles in environmental disasters
  • Political uses/constructions of nature
  • Media, advocacy and environmental pressure groups
  • Environmental activism and new media
  • Whose story? Narrating/communicating global environmental change.
  • Processes of (de-)politicization in public and media discourses on technological and environmental risks
  • Media and democratic debate and citizenship in risk politic


The deadline for submission of abstracts is February 14, 2012. Please note that this deadline will not be extended.

The Open Conference System (OCS) will open on December 1, 2011, and will close on February 14, 2012.

Decisions on acceptance of abstracts will be communicated to individual applicants by the Working Group Head no later than March 12, 2012.

On the same day, March 12, 2012, conference registration will open for bookings by participants.

For those whose abstracts are accepted, full conference papers are to be submitted via the IAMCR OCS by June 10, 2012.

Guidelines for Abstracts

Abstracts should be between 300 and 500 words in length.

All abstract submissions must be made centrally via the OCS.

The Environment Group will consider only one submission per author.


For further information on the conference, please contact the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) or consult the Conference Organizers via the website at:  http://www.iamcr2012.ukzn.ac.za/ or by email at IAMCR2012[at]ukzn.ac.za.

Environment, Science and Risk Communication Working Group

Chair: Anders Hansen
University of Leicester, UK
Vice-Chair: Pieter Maeseele
University of Antwerp, Belgium