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Vice Dean of the Annenberg School for Communication Emily Falk was recently appointed to lead the Annenberg Public Policy Center's new climate communication division (Photo from Annenberg Public Policy Center).

Emily Falk, a professor of communication, psychology, and marketing and vice dean of the Annenberg School for Communication, has been chosen to lead the Annenberg Public Policy Center's newest research area on climate communication. 

APPC founded the Climate Communication Division as part of its 30th anniversary celebration. The center aims to link interdisciplinary scholarship to understand the connections between communication and climate action, focusing on both local environmental issues within Philadelphia and global phenomena. 

The division will centralize research on structures and behaviors that can incentivize climate action across sectors such as transportation, food, and energy. It will also investigate the psychology surrounding discussions of climate action to spark innovation in confronting environmental challenges. 

“This moves the policy center into an important new area in which communication plays a critical role,” APPC director Kathleen Hall Jamieson said in the announcement. 

According to Falk, the division will take a particular interest in how young people can develop new approaches to understand climate challenges and solutions. 

Falk has conducted research in both neuroscience and psychology. She was recognized as an early-career researcher by the International Communication Association, the Association for Psychological Science, the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, the National Institutes of Health, and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. She currently leads the Communication Neuroscience Lab, which utilizes interdisciplinary approaches from psychology, neuroscience, and engineering to analyze human connection through communication. 

The Climate Communication Division joins the Communication Science and Institutions of Democracy divisions under APPC. Falk said that the division intends to collaborate extensively with other ongoing research efforts, including her own neuroscience communication lab and the Penn Center for Science, Sustainability, and the Media

“We’re hoping to bring together people from across Penn, the local community, nationally and internationally to create cutting-edge science about climate communication,” Falk told APPC.