Climate Ambassador Workshop with Climate Outreach, June 2023

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The Walker Institute facilitated a full-day workshop delivered by Climate Outreach, the leading climate communication specialists, on 1June 2023.

Rose Gater, an expert communicator from Climate Outreach, delivered the workshop to 16 participants from the University of Reading including PhD students from SCENARIO and FoodBioSystems Doctoral Training Partnerships, and MSc students from the School of Agriculture Policy and Development.

All participants who attended the workshop have committed to engage in at least one public event after receiving ongoing tailored support. Climate Outreach’s public engagement Ambassador programme supports new and diverse voices from across the climate research community to connect the science with what matters for people.

There was plenty of time for discussion, reflection and exchange of ideas. Topics included:

  • Talking about the real world: Language and relatable concepts
  • Connecting with your audience: Values and framing
  • Telling a human story: Techniques for effective storytelling
  • Communicating uncertainty: Leading with what you know
  • Being a confident communicator: Opportunities and perceived barriers
  • The power of social norms: Understanding public opinion and polling
  • The role of experts in society: A practical guide to navigating advocacy

The Walker Institute invited guest speakers who were able to share their knowledge with participants on various areas of expertise:

Dr Cathie Wells, a Research Fellow at the Walker Institute, talked about her experiences with public speaking and provided tips and tricks for delivering a successful talk to an audience with no scientific background.

Dawn Aggas stepped into Prof. Andrew Charlton-Perez shoes, introducing participants to the Climate Ambassador Scheme the University of Reading is leading in collaboration with STEM Learning and with support from UKRI. She explained what a great opportunity it would be for young researchers to provide support and guidance to teachers, school and college leaders, and everyone involved in the education system. To find more information on the Climate Ambassador Scheme and sign up as a climate ambassador, please visit the STEM Learning website.

Ollie Sirrell, a Press Officer at the University of Reading, talked to participants about engaging with the press and the media. He also provided tips and tricks to get started with public engagement and emphasised that the Press Office is in search of new voices.

We would like to thank Prof. Andrew Charlton-Perez, Head of School for the SMPCS, for his kind support in providing refreshments and lunch for the workshop.