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2. Engaging with member of the public and other stakeholders
A stakeholder is "a person or an organisation that has a legitimate interest in a project or entity, or would be affected by a particular action or policy" (IPCC, 2007).
A major component of the IAGP project was to engage members of the public and other stakeholders (including civil society groups, non-governmental organisations and policymakers) on the subject of geoengineering.
This engagement research, with the findings summarised in Briefing Note 2, was led by the 'Understanding Risk Research Group' at Cardiff University and by researchers at the University of East Anglia.
To engage with members of the public, small groups were invited to attend a series of workshops held at Birmingham, Cardiff, Glasgow and Norwich in the spring of 2012. The research team - led by Adam Corner and including Nick Pidgeon, Karen Parkhill and Nem Vaughan - worked with members of the public to explore a wide variety of issues surrounding geoengineering. Engaging with members of the public is crucial for researching geoengineering responsibly and this research was the first systematic academic study of the public perceptions of geoengineering.
To engage with other stakeholders (including members of the public and private sectors), groups were invited to a workshop held at the Royal Academy of Engineering in May 2011. Led by Nem Vaughan of University of East Anglia, the main theme was to scope out the broad range of perspectives and diverse views regarding geoengineering. A follow-up workshop was held at the Royal Society in May 2012. Participants returned to develop a list of relevant questions to be addressed by climate modellers, and to share ideas on how to communicate climate model output to broader non-academic audiences. Of particular interest were issues of uncertainty and the assumptions used when simulating the climate and geoengineering. These discussions put the computer climate modelling component of the project in context, and highlighted the importance of communicating research transparently.
The discussions in these workshops informed all areas of IAGP research.
- Pidgeon N, Corner A, Parkhill K, Spence A, Butler C and Poortinga W. Exploring early public responses to geoengineering; Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. 2012;370(1974).
- Corner A, Pidgeon N and Parkhill K. Perceptions of geoengineering:public attitudes, stakeholder perspectives, and the challenge of ‘upstream’ engagement; Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews – Climate Change. 2012;3(5):451-466.
- Corner A, Parkhill K and Pidgeon N ‘Experiment Earth?’ Reflections on a public dialogue on geoengineering; Cardiff: Understanding Risk Research Group, Cardiff University; 2011.
- Parkhill K and Pidgeon N Public Engagement on Geoengineering Research: Preliminary Report on the SPICE Deliberative Workshops; Cardiff: Understanding Risk Research Group, Cardiff University; 2011.