A blog titled "My Pursuit to Understand Society through Science (and Vice-Versa)" was recently posted on Maryland Sea Grant's site by Daniel Teodoro, a student in the Department of Geographical Sciences adviced by Dr. Christina Prell.
The piece describes Daniel's experiences while studying social networks of stakeholders who work together in adapting to sea level rise and other coastal hazards in Maryland. Addressing climate impacts requires the collaboration of multiple people with varying degrees of educational and cultural backgrounds. Daniel points out that "It turns out the world does not run on facts only. It is sustained by social relationships and cultural values," alluding to the need for public engagement training by graduate students.
The blog post also describes Daniel's own research findings, suggesting that perceptions of climate change are partially influenced by the social relationships people hold. Changing those perceptions requires establishing social ties with people we disagree with and engaging in conversations on these issues with respect and empathy and not only with facts.
To read the full blog post, click here: "My Pursuit to Understand Society through Science (and Vice-Versa)"