Thursday, September 15, 2011

Weather Forecast is Science Communication in Action

Congrats to Jean Byrne of Met Eireann on winning the European Meteorological Society's 2011 TV Weather Forecast Award.

The win is a credit to the weather service in this country and a fine example of science communication in action. For many people, the weather forecast is their one regular exposure to science.

The award recognises individual contributions to best practise in the communication of meteorology and the fact is, the nightly weather forecast is one of the best science programmes on TV!

The presenter said she was honoured to receive the award:

"It's great, coming as it does from a group of my professional colleagues and which recognises the importance of the work that meteorologists do and how we continue to try to give our best service."

According to Met Eireann, they were invited to nominate an entrant for the competition and a sample of her work was submitted for consideration. This is the first time that an Irish person has been awarded the trophy.

A qualified meteorologist, Jean Byrne is one of a small group of incredibly well known scientists in the country who appear on our screens after the Six-One and Nine O'Clock News. There cannot be a household in the land that has not watched here or one of her colleagues explain why it hasn't stopped raining or why the winter has been so cold.

While other broadcasters are switching to unqualified presenters, RTE are to be credited with keeping these scientists on our screens.

In my view, the contrast between RTE broadcasts and other Irish and British weather forecasts is vast. The meteorologists on RTE make a constant effort to explain WHY the weather is as it is and not just whether it will be dry tomorrow or not. For that, they deserve this prestigious accolade.


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