Science, story, and image: a new approach to crossing the communication barrier posed by scientific jargon
SAGE Publications Inc.
Faculty of Computing, Health and Science
School of Natural Sciences
The Kyoto Protocol has forced governments and power utilities to consider using renewable energy sources. Since these changes have political, social, and environmental consequences, it is important to understand non-scientists' perceptions of the problem and possible solutions. The authors have developed a way of overcoming barriers to communication posed by technical language, using images as a focus for the discussion of issues that participants associate with our current use of energy and its possible future uses. Participants select images, describe the significance of these images, and tell their own story of renewable energy. Further exploration is carried out through the use of follow-up interviews. This way of working has demonstrated its effectiveness by revealing an interesting diversity and depth in participants' understanding of renewable energy. In particular, it has revealed the complex way in which participants move between the human, technological, ethical, social, emotional, and spiritual aspects of energy.