Science-based climate change communication


The 51 Percent Project is a data-driven communications initiative that identifies established peer-reviewed principles of climate change communication and makes them accessible to all. Based at Boston University’s Institute for Sustainable Energy, the Project is developing a robust digital resource for major media and communicators at all levels who want to improve content creation to inform and engage the public about climate change: facts, risks, opportunities, solutions.


Sarah Finnie Robinson is a Senior Fellow at the Institute for Sustainable Energy at BU and Adjunct Clinical Professor at BU’s College of Communication. She invests in large-scale climate solutions and is the Founding Partner of WeSpire, a behavior-change technology firm whose “smart” platform powers employee engagement on purposeful culture and sustainability programs at F500 corporations.

Boston University is recently embarked on an ambitious Climate Action Plan, which The 51 Percent Project complements. As major markets signal transformational commitments to global decarbonization to address the risks posed by global warming, often involving complex technologies and financial models, the Institute for Sustainable Energy at BU provides an ideal home base. The BU College of Communication (COM) is another powerful collaborative partner at the University.

The 51 Percent Project is a 2019 client of COM’s Hothouse Productions, whose PSAs are nationally broadcast by Litton Entertainment, a division of Hearst Television. In collaboration with Robinson, Dr. Arunima Krishna of COM has launched an ongoing research project based on the Hothouse work; and additional faculty research projects are in development for Fall 2019 involving students at BU Spark! of the Hariri Institute for Computing. The 51 Percent Project is also a 2019 project of COM’s PR Lab, student originators of the @Sustain4Sapiens campaign; and the Master’s program in Design for Social Innovation at the School of Visual Arts in New York, creators of the @wherethehellisglobalwarming campaign.

Beyond BU

Robinson is partnering on an active array of potentially transformative collaborations outside the University, for instance the Covering Climate Now major-media coalition and the Climate Matters program at Climate Central.