EMS Outreach and Communication Award 2022 for Extreme WeatherCongress and De Weerman podcast
In 2022, two outstanding projects are honoured with the EMS Outreach and Communication Award: The ExtremeWeatherCongress, Germany, and the Podcast De Weerman, The Netherlands. They both fulfil communication needs on climate issues and are valuable tools to communicate weather and climate information. The contributions keep on living in the internet, and interested people can find them.
The ExtremeWeatherCongress, started in 2006 and taking place ever since, is a huge long-term effort with an extensive press-coverage and alongside presence in media-channels, newspapers and social-networks, widening the interest in conference topics supplemented by comprehensive fact-sheets about the actual state of the climate in general and especially in Germany. It is organized and moderated by Frank Böttcher.
ExtremeWeatherCongress has a long tradition and is a milestone in climate communication. It is a good example that a continuous effort is worth trying and can be very successful and become institutional. The conference is highly relevant, because different groups of society are involved: science, communication, politics, educators, media.
An important element is the involvement of schools, representing the future audience, potential students and scientists. It also became an important activity in schools. Extension of trainings to schools is providing broader audience and it is going beyond traditional standard format of just congress event. As we all know, the children are the future, so they will learn about the weather events and how to prevent and how to behave in such cases.
The ExtremeWeatherCongress has built a significant audience, both of media people and members of the public, over more than 15 years. It became a strong channel of communication about climate science with the aim to make climate research accessible to the public and media, for discussion. Since the launch of this congress in 2006, based on a concept by Frank Böttcher, delegate numbers have increased from 400 to over 3,000 (offline and online).
There are also many speakers at the congress, who are excellent climate communicators. The online content is excellently produced. This conference has benefitted from having a virtual presence so that it can reach wider audiences. Today, the ExtremWetterKongress is the leading interdisciplinary specialist conference for extreme weather in climate change in Germany and, as a dialogue event between science and the public, makes an important contribution to climate communication.
Other trustworthy elements of the conference are: scientific cooperation with German National Weather Service, and the event is taking place in cooperation with the German Climate Consortium, the German Meteorolgical Society and Skywarn.
The program is an excellent mixture combining relevant topics of weather and climate change. Speaking of a great variety – reports from relevant events in the near environment but also touching the global perspective. Other relevant themes and sessions are about sustainability of companies, economic development, transfer to a more sustainable society, special programmes to achieve important goals, relevance and development of social-media, judgement of fake-news, communication of climate-change, newest results of scientific research, just to name a few.
The conference ExtremeWeatherCongress was nominated by DWD.
Podcast De Weerman
The Podcast De Weerman is an attractive and popular format with an impressive community of followers. It is produced by the Dutch Public Broadcasting Association.
The combination of climate expertise, TV and journalistic expertise are a perfect mixture to communicate difficult facts. Interviews with relevant stakeholders, people involved in weather and climate are lively aspects of communication and relate to experience with all kinds of weather and climate issues reaching from the past to the future.
De Weerman is all about weather and climate, about the mechanisms behind weather phenomena, about weather forecasting and climate change. It is addressing a general audience, no background in meteorology or science is needed. Each episode of the podcast is centered around a theme and the meteorological processes are explained in layman’s words in order to inform the general public on a more detailed level than possible in regular news and weather forecast items on TV and radio. The podcast is a mix of fun facts, science, impact, and the relation between climate and weather is woven into the episodes. The podcast is hosted by TV weather forecaster Peter Kuipers Munneke, who is also a polar researcher at the Utrecht University in The Netherlands, specializing in the climate of the polar regions and ice sheets, and news anchor Fleur Wallenburg and their team.
The podcast started in October 2019 and in the meantime, 30 episodes have been produced over a period of three years. The number of productions as well as the content and variety are continuously growing.
The Weerman is very useful to all parts of the society, because themes are flexible and deliver answers to many questions relating to weather and climate with the aim to inform in a colloquial and attractive manner. The pedagogical value through “voice-communication” draws attention to just the human “listening”-capability, requires and inspires fantasy of the listeners. It is a constant offer, guarantees continuity and seems to be institutional and attractive for listeners and so far timeless.
Mixture of a well-known TV-persons, and journalists guarantee a programme not overloaded with pure science and scientific language. Accessibility is easy, everyone with a computer or a mobile phone can choose their topic of interest and can repeat the programme as often as desired in order to better understand the content. Download enables the listener to collect the different editions and archive them for further use. The audience will get used to listen to climate issues.
The podcasts are professionally produced. The 30 episodes have been accessed over >300k times so far.
The entire collection of podcast episodes can be found on Spotify, Apple Podcast, any other podcast browser, or online at https://www.nporadio1.nl/podcasts/de-weerman
The Podcast De Weerman was nominated by the Dutch Meteorological Society.