loading page

Science AMA Series: We’re Drs. Jessica Hellmann and Tessa Hill—two scientists who talk to non-scientists about climate change. Ask us anything!
  • Hellmann_and_Hill ,
  • r/Science AMAs

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

Author Profile
r/Science AMAs
Author Profile


Hi reddit! We’re Drs. Jessica Hellmann and Tessa Hill and we are here to talk to you about improving how scientists can talk with the public about climate change. Climate scientists see firsthand the current and potential impacts of climate change, and often feel compelled to share these scenarios with the public and highlight the way their science intersects with critical societal interests. Yet, even the most capable science communicators can improve how they talk with non-scientists about crucial social and scientific issues in ways that both capture their complexity and move the dialogue forward. The science of scicomm suggests it’s important to find common ground. There are promising practices developing within scicomm, and many scientists have had communication successes. We’re here to help you improve your scicomm skills and share our stories from the field—Ask us anything! This AMA is being facilitated as part of the AAAS Leshner Leadership Institute, a fellowship program that helps foster scientists’ scicomm and public engagement skills. Jessica Hellmann: I lead the Institute on the Environment at the University of Minnesota. I study global change and was among the first to propose and study new techniques for protecting ecosystems and people from climate change. Tessa Hill: I am at UC Davis and I study the impact of climate change on the ocean. I am experienced in science communication, including working with teachers and engaging stakeholders. I recently served on the West Coast Ocean Acidification and Hypoxia Panel. For background: Sara K. Yeo’s 2015 paper, “Public Engagement with and Communication of Science in a Web-2.0 Media Environment” is an excellent literature review of the scicomm field as it applies to social media. Perhaps nowhere are the insights she collects more needed than when discussing climate change. We’ll be back at 1 pm EST (10 am PST, 6 pm UTC) to answer your questions, ask us anything! Mod note: Listen to NPR’s Joe Palca interview our AMA guests recorded yesterday, (only 2 minutes 43 seconds)