Franklin, Jess, Tiernan Henry, Gesche Kindermann, & Caitriona Carlin (2021, January). Trust and perception: Key challenges facing geoscientists in practice and in Irish society. Irish Journal of Earth Sciences, 39(1), 29-45. (doi: 10.1353/ijes.2021.0002) [Related poster:

Abstract: Society is underpinned by geoscience, from power generation, construction, communication, resource management, water supply and security, to responses to climate change impacts. Communicating the complexities and uncertainties that are familiar concepts to geoscientists with the general public can be challenging. Fostering and increasing public trust in geoscience is therefore essential to empower stakeholders to make better informed decisions about the various complex environmental issues facing society. There is abundant evidence that this can only be effective if there is a dialogue, an exchange of information with stakeholders, rather than just a presentation of information. However, before the geoscience community can effectively start that dialogue, we need to understand how the geoscience community is perceived, and how trusted it is. This project assessed the public perception of, and trust in, geoscience and geoscientists in Ireland, through a series of semi-structured interviews and a subsequent online survey. Trust in and the perception of geoscience and geoscientists was explored and compared to other professionals who may interact with the natural environment such as environmental scientists and engineers. The results from the survey, coupled with the thematic analysis of the semi-structured interviews provide a basis for reflection by the geoscience community.

Jess Franklin <> is in the Irish Centre for Research in Applied Geosciences, National University of Ireland Galway, Ireland.