Liquid Nitrogen, fracking and interactive exhibits… a typical PEP night out
A group from PEP, together with guests, attended the annual Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) South West dinner on Friday 14th June. It was held at We the Curious (previously known as @Bristol) home to hundreds of interactive science exhibits.
Vice President Sue Manns opened the dinner reminding the audience about the challenges of diversity in planning and the wider built environment.
The after dinner speaker was Iain Stewart BSc PhD, MBE, FGS, FRSE, Professor of Geoscience Communication at Plymouth University. He’s well known for his BBC television series about Planet Earth including Planet Oil and Volcano Live tackling controversial issues such as fracking.
His academic interest lies in finding ways of communicating complex and contested ideas to public audiences a challenge of which the planning profession is acutely aware. And this was the topic of his speech.
We were all ears as he shared ways of successfully communicating with your audience, and how important it is to tell a story rather than bombard with data and statistics. Stewart recounted his own findings;
“When information is complex, people make decisions based on their values and beliefs.
“People seek affirmation of their attitudes (or beliefs), no matter how fringe. They will reject any information that is counter to their attitudes.
“People most trust those whose values mirror their own.”
All very interesting. The evening ended with mini meringues poached in liquid nitrogen…