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R&D in Net Zero conversations

14 Dec 2022

The transition to Net Zero is an example of a political and societal vision that has emerged over decades, with public awareness broadening substantially in recent years. We spoke to climate advocates to understand how R&D has been used to engage the public on Net Zero.


  • Cambridge Zero
  • Edinburgh Science Festival
  • Glasgow Science Centre
  • Johnson Matthey
  • Open University
  • Zero Waste Scotland

Key Conclusions

  • Evolve terminology to keep pace with changing public perceptions. Advocates must respond to changing public attitudes and needs, and adapt the language of their engagement to remain relevant to their audiences.
  • Work together to capitalise on high-profile moments in public life. Major events like COP26 offer a chance to champion R&D’s role, and to establish long-term partnerships with advocates across different sectors. ‘Unlikely coalitions’ of advocates can help convey the breadth of support for an issue such as R&D.
  • Provide opportunities for genuine dialogue and co-creation. Advocates must listen to their audiences and provide meaningful opportunities for communities to decide on, and shape, the engagement they want.
  • Empower younger generations to reach adults. Young people can help channel messages into families and are vocal, passionate advocates. Organisations should engage directly with younger people, in partnership with educators and youth leaders.

R&D in Net Zero conversations

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