Communicating the complex science behind the planetary boundaries

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Photo: R. Worrall/Unsplash


Netflix has launched a documentary on the planetary boundaries. How can films like these explain complex scientific findings to a wide and diverse audience?

In 2009, 28 internationally renowned scientists identified nine processes that regulate the stability and resilience of the entire planet. Provided we stay within these boundaries, humanity can continue to develop and thrive for generations to come. Since its launch the planetary boundaries framework has generated enormous interest within science, policy, and practice. But what does it take to communicate such important knowledge about how our planet works?

In 2021, Netflix launched a documentary on the planetary boundaries, based on the recently released book, Breaking Boundaries. How can films and books like these explain complex scientific findings to a wide and diverse audience? How do we tell a compelling story without compromising scientific integrity?

In this episode, Amanda Wood from the Stockholm Resilience Centre talks to Jon Clay, producer of the Breaking Boundaries documentary, and Owen Gaffney, head of international Media and Policy at the Stockholm Resilience Centre and co-author of the Breaking boundaries book. Together they discuss the next frontier in filmmaking and scientific communication.

Relevant readings

All you need to know about the Planetary Boundaries framework

Book: Breaking Boundaries – the science behind our planet

About Rethink Talks

Rethink Talks is Stockholm Resilience Centre’s multimedia podcast series on resilience thinking and global change. It spotlights conversations between experts on a range of topics that highlight how resilience thinking and biosphere stewardship add value to current debates on for instance COVID-19.