Much of the work we do at Envireau Water involves effectively communicating complex and non-intuitive geological concepts. As geoscientists these concepts come easy to us, but less easy is understanding the way in which the public visualises processes that happen below ground level.
In June, our team were fortunate enough to spend a morning with Dr Hazel Gibson, a researcher of the public perception of geology and geoscience communication at Plymouth University.
Dr Hazel Gibson recently obtained her PhD after 4 years of gaining valuable insight into how expert and non-expert geoscientists conceptualise the geological subsurface and how that understanding can be used to improve the effectiveness of our communications.
The workshop that our team participated in, explored the space between personal experience and public misconceptions and demonstrated how the gap can be used to gain a greater understanding of the public perceptions of geoscience. The interactive session drew from the personal experience of the Envireau Water team, as well as current research into geoscience communication, to develop strategies for effective engagement.
In the afternoon, Envireau Water was pleased to host a seminar for clients and associates who operate in a variety of industries that involve commercial activities below the ground.
In this exclusive seminar, Hazel discussed recent developments in geoscience communication and cognition research and explored how it can be used to improve the effectiveness of discussions centred around geo-environmental issues. Attendees discussed the benefits of engaging with the social sides of geoscience questions early, and the value of exchanging knowledge with local communities.
The participants found the session invaluable:
“Hazel is an excellent presenter and very successfully articulated the communication pitfalls that the industry is experiencing and, more importantly, opened our eyes to an alternative approach.”
“An engaging and thought-provoking event that will influence the way that I communicate in the future.”
“A really interesting afternoon with some very useful things to take away and think about how best to use.”
“In a world which has masses of data and information, trying to understand better how we can use it effectively is extremely valuable.”
We would like to take the opportunity to thank Burges Salmon for sponsoring the event.
With such positive feedback, we are hoping to combine both sessions and run a similar event. We will let you know the details as they develop. Watch this space…