Section Head Election 2017 - Call for Candidates and statements

Environment, Science & Risk Communication Working Group

The IAMCR Environment, Science & Risk Communication Working Group will be holding elections during the business meeting at the upcoming conference in Cartagena (Colombia). The date and time of the business meeting will be included in the final programme of IAMCR 2017. One chair position and two vice-chair positions are open. The terms run for four years. Responsibilities include all phases of conference programming for the WG.

The current officers of the section are Pieter Maeseele, Anders Hansen, and Dorothee Arlt. Following a 4 year mandate, Pieter Maeseele will be standing for reelection in the position of chair.  Anders Hansen and Dorothee Arlt are both stepping down as vice-chair.

Any IAMCR member who would like to serve as an officer of the Environment, Science & Risk Communication WG must submit his/her name and institutional position, a statement of no more than 400 words (with e.g. bio, motivation for being candidate), to the current officers (see contact info below), by 25 June 2017. Working Group officers must be IAMCR members, either directly, or through an IAMCR institutional member who has listed them among its IAMCR representatives.

You will find the election rules at:

  • Pieter Maeseele (chair): pieter.maeseele[at]
  • Anders Hansen (vice-chair): ash[at]
  • Dorothee Arlt (vice-chair): dorothee.arlt[at]

Candidates' statements

For Chair:

For Vice-Chair:

Candidate: Pieter Maeseele
Position: Chair

IAMCR is the key international academic association that promotes both global inclusiveness and critical media and communication scholarship. It has been a privilege to have been able to contribute to IAMCR though my involvement in the Environment, Science & Risk Communication Working Group. My first presentation to the ESR WG was in 2004, in 2011 I was elected as Vice-Chair, and in 2013 as Chair, together with Anders Hansen and Dorothee Arlt. As a team, we have been lucky to meet wonderful people and be witness to fantastic panels and presentations, in places as diverse as Hyderabad, Durban, Dublin, and Montreal. While Anders and Dorothee have chosen to step down, I would like to continue the work and contribute to building a new team that can take the ESR WG further into the future. As we are reminded of every day, the environment, sustainability and climate change remain amongst the primary challenges for us as media and communication scholars to address, and they will only gain in importance. In the meantime, science and expertise in general have increasingly become the subject of social and political struggle. In light of this, I believe the new management team should focus on the transformation of the Working Group into a full-fledged Section. This is what I want to work on as Chair of the ESR WG in the coming years.

Personally, I have been doing work on science and environment communication since I started as a researcher in 2004, with a focus on how issues of conflict, power and exclusion play out in the case of new biotechnologies. Since then, the scope of topics has only broadened to include climate change, energy, hydropolitics, and ethical consumption.

In addition to IAMCR, I have been involved as Vice-Chair in the Science and Environment Section of ECREA (the European media and communication research association), as a member of the Steering Committee of the Network for the Public Communication of Science and Technology (PCST), and I am a member of the editorial board of journals such as Science Communication and the Journal of Science Communication, and book series such as the Palgrave Studies in Media and Environmental Communication.

Candidate: Joana Díaz-Pont
Position: Vice-Chair

I am pleased to submit my candidacy to serve in one of the vice-chairs that are open in the Working Group. My motivation is fundamentally a will to provide a territorial (local) perspective. I have been developing my activity in the field of environmental communication for twenty years internationally. I started as environmental information specialist at the USEPA, and then moved back to Barcelona where I promoted a Centre of Environmental Information Studies. We built a database of more than 14,000 environmental communicators mainly in Southern Europe, and provided training and research. I stepped down as director to collaborate with international agencies and focus on research in the academia. I am currently associate professor at the Department of Political Science and Public Law (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona).

In these years I have tried to reconcile the global scale and the local scale both personally and professionally, and this has been transferred to my area of scientific specialization. My research explores the relationship between communication and governance. I try to understand what models of “proximity environmental communication” can be more efficient to trigger democratic processes of governance towards sustainable development, and improve local autonomy.

It is not surprising that I am especially attracted to an organization like IAMCR from the point of view of its potential contribution to the local from the international level. I hope to be able to provide a vision from the local level. In short, my motivation is to contribute to multilevel governance within the IAMCR itself.

I will be happy to provide any further information that is needed.

Looking forward to meeting in Cartagena.

Candidate: Kerrie Foxwell-Norton
Position: Vice-Chair

Thank you for the opportunity to nominate as Vice-Chair for the IAMCR Environment, Science and Risk Communication Working Group.  I am currently the Chair of the IAMCR Environmental Impact Committee so my proposed role here supports my agenda to ensure environmental issues are at the fore of both IAMCR research and its practice as an international organisation. 

I am a member of the Griffith Centre for Social and Cultural Research, Griffith University Australia.  My media and communications research over the last 20 years has often involved community-based research centred on the vibrant and diverse Australian community media sector and Australian First Nation’s communities.  The relationship of people to place has been an ongoing source of inspiration and discovery throughout my career and is the core theme of this work.

My passion for environmental issues and justice is explicit in my doctoral studies that focussed on community participation in coastal and marine management.  My manuscript (Routledge, in press), Environmental Communication and Critical Coastal Policy: Communities, Culture and Nature is the culmination of my work in this area, drawing on a recent experience to assist my local coastal community in planning and managing coastal development.

An ongoing theme of my work, and now its focus is the communication of coastal and marine environments.  Lately, my work has focussed on the Great Barrier Reef, Australia.  I am also a co-author (with colleagues Robert A. Hackett, Susan Forde and Shane Gunster) on a recent release Journalism and Climate Crisis: Public Engagement, Media Alternatives (2017). 

To the Environment, Science and Risk Communication Working Group, I bring my overarching commitment and passion for my work, alongside the same for my colleagues working in the broad field.  As a Vice-Chair, I will support the Chair and the work of the existing ESRC community. Working with the committee, I will endeavour to raise the profile of ESRC within IAMCR and internationally to encourage participation.  Importantly, I will also complete required administrative duties as required.

I would enjoy the opportunity to serve as vice-chair for the ESRC Working Group.

Candidate: Maitreyee Mishra
Position: Vice-Chair

I gladly confirm my candidacy for vice-chair of the Environment, Science and Risk (ESR) Communication working group, which for me has been an intellectual home since I joined the IAMCR in 2014. It would be an honour to contribute to IAMCR and to the ESR working group through my experiences and study of environmental change in the developing world, particularly India, changes that are rapid and need sustained and critical engagement.

Having lived in seven countries, my observations of environmental challenges and conflict in developing countries have informed my research, which is strongly interdisciplinary. Currently based at Heidelberg University, Germany, I have been an Assistant Professor of environment communication and film studies at the School of Communication, Manipal University, India, since 2010. I have published on indigenous peoples’ movements, environmental communication, film and gender studies. My most recent (forthcoming) publication is a chapter on traditional environmental knowledge and sustainable development in the book Communication, Culture and Ecology -Rethinking Sustainable Development in Asia (edited by Kiran Prasad, Springer, 2017). Outside of academia I have served as a consultant to WaterAid, Regional Centre for Development Cooperation and the environmental NGO Vasundhara based in Odisha, India. My current research examines the impacts of climate change on indigenous peoples- some of the world’s most vulnerable groups whose articulation of climatic and environmental change challenges the current world order, and needs to be heard. I hope to contribute to the working group by bringing more diverse voices from the global South.