S. Vercelli and R. Tambelli
Dipt. di Psicologia dinamica e clinica; Universita di Roma "La Sapienza", Rome, Italy
Abstract: CO2 geological storage constitutes a relatively recent scientific technology which could play a major role for the solution of global warming. More research is needed, however at the same time already-available scientific knowledge has scarcely been disseminated. Thus researchers who work in this area are faced with two main problems: 1) get their work to be known and its relevance understood also outside research and academic circles 2) avoid possible misconceptions in the understanding of their research, which could result in negative reactions in public opinion and consequently to the refusal of geological storage. This contribution addresses the need to spread knowledge and make this technology better known for the exploitation of its potentialities. Methodological questions about effective dissemination are dealt with. A psycho-sociological approach is presented and discussed, focusing on: 1) how to develop in the public a positive attitude and interest for learning about geological storage; and 2) how to develop in the public a correct understanding of what geological storage is. This kind of approach works on both the cognitive and emotional levels, beginning with the scientists' representations of their own work and followed by studying the interactions people can develop when coming in contact with a new topic, what kind of reactions are stimulated and how they can be understood depending on specific social contexts, etc. Language study and image issues are explored with specific reference to geological research. Based on Italian experiences for geological research dissemination the role of cultural contexts and psychosocial representations are illustrated. The importance of the analysis of emotional processes is explained. The role of information, communication, storage sites' image and social context in relation to stakeholders decisions is analysed. A possible proactive image strategy is outlined.
Key words: geological storage, climate change, carbon dioxide, scientific dissemination, stakeholders, psychosocial representations, cultural models
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