Framing Environmental Health: What Does the Public Think?

How can experts and advocates frame environmental health more effectively for widespread public support? How can we communicate this issue to help the public recognize system-wide solutions to protect citizens from environmental hazards like

  • air and water pollution,
  • extreme weather and climate change,
  • threats to food safety,
  • and poor quality housing?

Our research shows that most people don’t think of environmental health as relating to human health. They have a weak and fragmented model of environmental health that hinders their ability to recognize collective over individual solutions.

FrameWorks recently produced communications research on this issue entitled, “People, Polar Bears, and the Potato Salad: Mapping the Gaps Between Expert and Public Understandings of Environmental Health (2011).” The results of this report are also illustrated in this FrameWorks video:

Environmental Health Final from Beth Fisher on Vimeo.

We will be highlighting this issue over the next few weeks, as we post and answer questions from advocates in the field on the research implications.

Are you an advocate on environmental health? Are you using framing in your communications work? Let us know and we will feature you in an upcoming post.


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