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Catalyzing Public Engagement With Climate Change Through Informal Science Learning Centers

Abstract

"Using the head, heart, and hands model, we examined a training program designed to catalyze national public engagement with climate change through informal science learning centers (e.g., aquariums, zoos). Survey data were collected from visitors (N = 7,285) observing 1,101 presentations at 117 U.S. institutions before and after presenters participated in communication training. Visitors who attended posttraining (vs. pretraining) presentations reported greater understanding of climate change (head), hope (heart), and intentions to engage in community action (hands). As hypothesized, results suggested these changes were due to an increase in presenters' discussion of climate change and use of effective communication techniques."

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