Framing the Challenge of Climate Change in Nature and Science Editorials

This research paper is now published in Nature Climate Change, co-authored with Noam Obermeister, Samuel Randalls and Maud Borie.  Brigitte Nerlich has an associated Commentary on the paper’s significance.  For those without access to Nature Climate Change, a view-only version though SharedIt is available.

Abstract. Through their editorialising practices, leading international science journals such as Nature and Science interpret the changing roles of science in society and exert considerable influence on scientific priorities and practices. Here we examine nearly 500 editorials published in these two journals between 1966 and 2016 which deal with climate change, thereby constructing a lens through which to view the changing engagement of science and scientists with the issue. A systematic longitudinal frame analysis reveals broad similarities between Nature and Science in the waxing and waning of editorialising attention given to the topic. But although both journals have diversified how they frame the challenges of climate change, they have done so in different ways. We attribute these differences to three influences: the different political and epistemic cultures into which they publish; their different institutional histories; and their different editors and editorial authorship practices.