Data-to-Action Paradigm vs Civic Engagement Paradigm

An article by Samantha Jo Fried, in the Jan-Feb 2020 issue of American Scientist, explores the advantages for Climate Action groups of moving from a data-to-action approach (which assumes people will take action if scientists feed them good data) to a civic engagement approach (which recognizes that people are most likely to act in a committed way on data they have gathered themselves). Perhaps public confusion and inertia towards serious climate action arises not just from political disempowerment, or even from economic disempowerment, but from something even more fundamental: both of these modern conditions may in fact arise from the knowledge disempowerment that comes of scientific ‘expert-ism’ and compartmentalization. It would make sense that commitment based on personal experience is the way human beings are built.

To explore the possibilities for galvanizing public engagement in climate action through Citizen Science, we recommend you explore the following links:




Also, the training in critical thinking that comes of participating in even a Christmas Bird Count cannot be overstated. Perhaps this is ultimately the answer to the modern challenges presented by uncritical social media platforms and their Post Truth World?

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