Dr. James Hansen’s 1988 testimony before the U.S. Senate was an important turning point in the history of global climate change. However, no studies have explained why Hansen’s scientific communication in this deliberative setting was more successful than his testimonies of 1986 and 1987. This article turns to Hansen as an important case study in the rhetoric of accommodated science, illustrating how Hansen successfully accommodated his rhetoric to his non-scientist audience given his historical conditions and rhetorical constraints. This article (1) provides a richer explanation for the rhetorical/political emergence of global warming as an important public policy issue in the United States during the late 1980s and (2) contributes to scholarly understanding of the rhetoric of accommodated science in deliberative settings, an often overlooked area of science communication research.



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