ESR Newsletter April 2021

News from the IAMCR Environment, Science & Risk Communication Working Group
Newsletter April 2021


Enjoy the newsletter!

Joana, Kerrie, Maitreyee, and Pieter (ESR leadership)

  • IAMCR Nairobi 2020: reviewing process completed

The Environment, Science & Risk Communication Working Group of IAMCR received 73 abstracts out of which 48 were accepted, bringing the acceptance rate to 66% (the overall acceptance rate is 79%). The reviewing process was double blind involving three reviewers (or two in some exceptional cases). In the end, about 240 reviews were carried out by a team of 57 of our peers whom we are most thankful for their engagement. They are acknowledged in the following list of reviewers. We cannot overemphasize how dependent the WG is on the support and help from our dedicated reviewers over the years (Thank you!)

Among the many themes for this year’s accepted abstracts we find: youth environmental activism; corporate communication; Covid-19; plastic waste; water and energy politics; COPs; conservation; digital platforms and smart technologies; fear appeals; disaster communication; children theatre; visual communication; gilets jaunes; conspiracy theories; ecocinema. 

Authors who have been notified of their acceptance please note the important dates for future reference:

  • April 30 - Deadline to apply for the UCF Research Grant and the Stuart Hall award
  • June 7 - Deadline for full paper/video submission
  • June 14 - Final conference programme published on the website
  • July 5 - All online papers and individual video presentations online and start of online discussion & feedback phase
  • July 11-15 - IAMCR Conference
  • September 12 - End of online discussion & feedback phase

Please note, dates are subject to change. Any changes will be announced on the conference website and via social media and email.
In the next few months we will be working together with the accepted authors and with a team of respondents to prepare the Section and Working Group Online Video Sessions, putting together the OCP programmes and preparing the online commenting and the Section and Working Group Live OCP Interactive Forums. 

As a general reminder, you can read about the various components of IAMCR 2021 in the article How to participate in IAMCR 2021. Please find more information on the conference here: For further enquiries about the conference, please contact

    • CfP “Transitions in tension. Controversies and tensions around ecological transitions”

The call for papers has been published for the international conference “Transitions in tension. Controversies and tensions around ecological transitions”, organized on December 16 and 17, 2021 in Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium. 

Please find the call, in English, French and Spanish here: 

The conference website can be found here: 

This colloquium aims to interrogate the discourses and communicational phenomena related to ecological and energy transitions - we explicitly use the plural to indicate the complexity of the object in question. The polemical dimension of the communication surrounding the transitions - controversies, polemics, discussions, debates - and which mobilises verbal language and all other types of semiotic devices (notably still and moving images), is in particular at the centre of attention. 

The organisers want to involve researchers who analyse these phenomena with scientific tools from the humanities and social sciences. Our focus is primarily on the information and communication sciences, but we also pay special attention to interdisciplinary projects or projects at the border between different disciplines. The conference is open to researchers working in different fields related to information and communication phenomena: media and journalism, digital social networks, political discourse, organisational communication, cultural and media industries, information sciences, among others.

A scientific publication is planned following the conference. Registration is not yet possible on the website, but will be soon.

Paper proposals are expected by the end of September 2021, in French, English and Spanish.

  • Climate Communication Award 2021

Applications are now being received for the 2021 IAMCR New Directions for Climate Communication Research Fellowship. Initiated by the International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR) and awarded in collaboration with the International Environmental Communication Association (IECA), the US$1,000 award seeks to encourage a wide range of researchers to think creatively about new research approaches for climate change communication. Media/communication researchers with interest in climate issues are encouraged to apply, from all fields of media/communication, and all career stages. Interdisciplinary collaborations are encouraged.

The deadline to apply is 30 April 2021.

More information on the rules and procedures can be found here

  • Expressions of Interest: ESR Webinar ‘Environmental, Science and Risk Communication in a Pandemic: Reflections on COVID-19 and our future’

Our call is still open for initial expressions of interest in a webinar or webinar series that will focus our research on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and how, if at all, this has impacted our field and our research agenda.  This initiative will showcase ESR work that explores what we have learnt, or might learn, in reflecting on the events of 2020 till the present.  Given the ecological crises we face, what might we learn from this health crisis and its communication?

Initiatives like this are wonderful opportunities to connect with colleagues all over the world, and be enriched by the exchange.  We plan for participants to be published in a special issue journal or edited collection.  At this stage, we are asking that interested colleagues contact stating their interest in being involved. We are planning this webinar for September/October. We look forward to sharing ideas. 

  • Revised ESR WG Mission Statement

After broad consultation, the ESR leadership has recently revised its mission statement:

As environmental challenges, notably climate change and its impacts, rise exponentially in all parts of the world, communication becomes ever more critical to developing our responses to realised and impending crises. From local communities to the global network of communication and media that crisscross the globe, communication about our local places and environments is pervasive. The Environment, Science and Risk Communication working group of the IAMCR held its first session in 1988 and has since focused its attention on interdisciplinary and multi-methodological approaches to environmental and science communication, such as political ecology; social and deep ecology; feminist theory; public sphere; political theory; political economy; cultural studies; geography, science, and technology studies; history; literary studies; film studies and many others.

Deeply international in nature, we explore the role of media and other stakeholders in reporting and communicating about a plethora of environmental issues that include climate change, energy-related conflicts, conservation, and others. Examples of topic areas include: environmental and science communication, activism and journalism; social and political  constructions of Nature; corporate social responsibility and sustainability reporting; spin and news management of environmental conflict and scientific controversies; public understanding, participation and engagement with science and the environment; risk and disaster communication; Indigenous perspectives on Nature and the non-human.

As a WG, we are particularly committed to the inclusion of diverse ontologies and epistemologies that capture the global environmental experiences and the human/nature relations therein. Our working group pursues issues of social and environmental justice - in our own conduct and in supporting a global community of researchers who in various ways, seek the same. 

  • Renew your membership!

Last, but not least, I would like to remind you how important it is that you renew your membership to the working group by renewing your IAMCR membership for 2021. If you haven't yet, please don’t forget!