‘The science is hard, the communication is also hard, actually; the policy making is also extremely hard.’ This is how Sir Mark Wallport, summed up the challenge of communicating and decision-making, given the complexity of the science behind weather and climate. He was addressing the PURE (Probability, uncertainty and risk in the environment) Network at a showcase event at the Natural History Museum, on 13 September.
We have been working on one strand of the PURE Network’s activity, RACER (Robust assessment and communication of environmental risk) and produced the quick guide, shown above, to remind people communicating data, particularly probabilistic and uncertain data, of some basic aspects of information design. Survey research carried out with weather and climate scientists while preparing the guide found that, although most respondents were aware of the recommendations in the guide, they said they often failed to follow them. They felt the guide would be useful both as a memory jogger for themselves and for trainee scientists.
The full guide can be downloaded from the PURE Network website.