1994. Roll-Hansen. "Science, Politics, and the Mass Media: On Biased Communication of Environmental Issues"


When environmental science acts by enlightenment rather than instrumental use, that is, by changing the aims and values of politics rather than its means, adequate communication to the general public is crucially important. Based on the study of two issues, forest death from acid rain and the size of whale stocks, this article shows how the "constraints" of commercial mass media can be contrary to the task of enlightenment. It is also argued that skeptical and relativist views of science contribute indirectly to bias by undermining criticism.


Creative Commons Licence


Created date

May 26, 2018

Critical Commentary

In this 1994 article, Nils Roll-Hansen analyzes media coverage of forest death from acid rain and diminished whale stocks to discuss the role of commercial mass media in enabling environmental science to become intelligible and politically meaningful to the general public.