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Juxtaposition of climate change contrarians and scientists in the media using Media Cloud data

Citation

Petersen, Alexander (2019), Juxtaposition of climate change contrarians and scientists in the media using Media Cloud data, UC Merced, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.6071/M3K371

Abstract

We document the media visibility and climate change research achievements of two groups of individuals representing some of  the most prominent figures in their respective domains: 386  climate change contrarians (CCC)  juxtaposed with 386 expert climate change scientists (CCS). These data were collected from the Media Cloud project (MC), an open data project hosted by the MIT Center for Civic Media and the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University. Enclosed are raw MC data and parsed media article data files obtained from two types of MC database queries: (i) ~105,000 media articles derived from the MC search query ''climate AND change AND global AND warming''; (ii) 772 individual  data files for each member of the CCC and CCS groups, each derived from a single MC search query ''MemberFullName AND climate''. These data facilitate the objective comparison of authority in science with visibility in digital and print media,  and are used to map individuals' association networks within and between CCC and CCS groups, at both the group and individual levels.

Methods

Selection of individual members of the CCC and CCS groups: Using publicly available records, we created two lists of names comprising the CCC and CCS groups – 386 prominent climate change contrarians and 386 highly-cited climate change scientists, respectively.

Media Cloud (MC) data: We then used the Media Cloud API to download media article records associated with each individual by querying the MC database for articles including that individual's name and the word "climate". All together, we analyzed roughly ~100,000 individual media articles.

Web of Science (WOS) data: We downloaded a large dataset of ~ 200,000 articles from the WOS "Core Collection" using a database query that identified articles associated with the topic "Climate Change". Within this set of CC research articles, we then searched for the research articles associated with each individual using string matching of coauthor names.

Research objective: In the accompanying research article, we juxtapose these two groups and compare quantitative measures of scientific authority with quantitative measures of visibility in digital and print media – at both the group and individual levels. We also map out the associations between groups/individuals that are manifest when two individuals appear in the same media article or when one individual cites the research article of another individual. We aggregate these dyadic relations and visualize the resulting association networks within and between CCC and CCS groups, at both the group and individual levels.

Usage Notes

ReadMe file: The enclosed PDF file ClimateChange-Contrarians-Scientists_DataDescription_ANONYMIZED.pdf describes the source and organization of the Article-level and Individual-level (CCC and CCS profiles) variabiles contained in each file.

Source code: provided in a Mathematica (v11.1) notebook (MediaSource_Annotated_ALL_2256.nb using MediaSource_Annotated_ALL_2256_ANONYMIZED.txt) reproduces the subpanels for Fig. 5 in the following research article - if you use this data please cite:

A. M. Petersen, E. M. Vincent, A. L. Westerling (2019)

Discrepancy in scientific authority and media visibility of climate change scientists and contrarians. 

Nature Communications 10, 3502. DOI: 10.1038/s41467-019-09959-4

Funding

2017 UC Merced Senate Faculty Award,

References