earth sciences

How did the fracking controversy emerge in the period 2010-2012?

Allan Mazur

In 2010-2012, the controversy over fracking grew rapidly, first in the United States, and then internationally. An important step was the anti-fracking documentary film Gasland. With help from celebrity sources, the film was produced and won a prize at the Sundance Film Festival by early 2010 and had an Oscar nomination by early 2011, in the meantime popularizing potent images of hazard including tainted aquifers and ignitable water running from kitchen faucets. During this period, major US news organizations paid little attention to the issue. The offshore Deepwater Horizon disaster of April 2010 spurred The New York Times to prolific reporting on potential risks of the new onshore technique for extracting shale gas. With flagship news coverage, the controversy had by 2012 gained wide media attention that evoked public concern and opposition, spreading from the United States to other nations.

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Bringing Earth Into the Scene of a Primary School: A Science Theatre Experience

Tiziana Lanza, Massimo Crescimbene, Federica La Longa, Giuliana D’Addezio

Studies have shown that narrative is a valid tool to transmit science in a school context. We explored science theatre to promote earthquake knowledge and risk preparedness by readapting an old legend describing the 1908 Messina earthquake into a script, which was then performed in a primary school. We evaluated the experience designing a questionnaire inspired by the Düss Fairy Tales method and a semistructured questionnaire. Preliminary results strongly encourage science theatre as a means to transfer knowledge and open new opportunities to use this method as an agent of change in behavior before and during an earthquake.

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