Published: Oct. 11, 2019
Max Boykoff colloquium poster

Max Boykoff
Director, Center for Science and Technology Policy (CIRES)
Associate Professor, Environmental Studies, University of Colorado Boulder.


Conversations about climate change at the science-policy interface and in our lives have remained stuck. The presentation based on a recently published book integrates lessons from social science and humanities research and practices that have sought to more effectively make connections through issues, people and things that everyday citizens care about. Max will argue that there is no ‘silver bullet’ to communications about climate change. Instead, a ‘silver buckshot’ approach is needed, where ‘smartened up’ strategies effectively reach different audiences in different contexts. This tact can then significantly improve efforts that seek meaningful, substantive and sustained responses to contemporary climate challenges. These also more effectively re-capture what may be seen to be a ‘missing middle ground’ or common ground on climate change in the public arena. Exploring some case studies within the book, this presentation aims to help harness creativity to better understand what works where, when, why and under what conditions in a 21st century communications environment.


Max Boykoff is the Director of the Center for Science and Technology Policy, which is part of the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences at the University of Colorado Boulder. He also is an Associate Professor in the Environmental Studies program and has a courtesy/adjunct appointment in the Geography department. Before this line of work, among many jobs Max worked on a farm near Watsonville, California, was a barista in Powells Books (Portland Oregon), and served as an assistant to the assistant snake handler in the Oregon Ballet Theatre. Max has ongoing interests in cultural politics and environmental governance, science and environmental communications, science-policy interactions, political economy and the environment, and climate adaptation. He has consequently has produced many peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters and books in these subjects.