College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Edward Wile Maibach

Edward Wile Maibach

Edward Wile Maibach

Professor, Director; Center for Climate Change Communication

Climate change communication, public health communication, social marketing

Dr. Edward Maibach is a University Professor and Director of Mason’s Center for Climate Change Communication (4C).  In the Department of Communication, he teaches seminars in climate change communication, strategic communication, and social marketing. His research currently focuses exclusively on how to mobilize populations to adopt behaviors and support public policies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help communities adapt to the unavoidable consequences of climate change.

Dr. Maibach holds a BA in social psychology from University of California at San Diego (1980), an MPH in health promotion from San Diego State University (1983), and a PhD in communication research from Stanford University (1990).

Dr. Maibach previously had the pleasure to serve as Associate Director of the National Cancer Institute, Worldwide Director of Social Marketing at Porter Novelli, and Chairman of the Board for Kidsave International.  He has also held academic positions at George Washington University and Emory University.

What students may not know about Dr. Maibach is that he helped plan a multi-billion dollar communication campaign for the Office of National Drug Control Policy in the late 1990s.

Selected Publications

  • Myers, T., Roser-Renouf, C., Maibach, E., Leiserowitz, A. (in press) Exposure to the Pope’s climate change message activated convinced Americans to take certain advocacy actions. Global Challenges: Climate Change.
  • Maibach, E., Mazzone, R., Myers, T., Seitter, K., Hayhoe, K., Ryan, B., Witte, J., Gardiner, N., Hassol, S., Lazo, J., Placky, B., Sublette, S. & Cullen, H. (in press) TV weathercasters’ views of climate change appear to be rapidly evolving. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society.
  • Kotcher, J., Myers, T., Vraga, E., Stenhouse, N. & Maibach, E. (2017) Does engagement in advocacy hurt the credibility of scientists? Results from a randomized national survey experiment. Environmental Communication. DOI: 10.1080/17524032.2016.1275736
  • Van der Linden, S., Leiserowitz, A., Rosenthal, S. & Maibach, E. (2017) Inoculating the public against misinformation about climate change. Global Challenges: Climate Change. DOI: 10.1002/gch2.201600008
  • Maibach, E. & van der Linden, S. (2016) The importance of assessing and communicating scientific consensus. Environmental Research Letters, 11: 091003.
  • Perkins, D., Maibach, E., Gardiner, N., Witte, J., Ward, B., Placky, B., Seitter, K. & Cullen, H. (2016, early online) Most Americans want to learn more about climate change. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, doi: 10.1175/BAMS-D-16-0097.1.
  • Maibach, E., Cullen, H., Placky, B., Witte, J., Seitter, K., Gardiner, N., Myers, T. & Sublette, S. (2016) TV meteorologists as local climate educators. Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Climate Science. DOI: 10.1093/acrefore/9780190228620.013.505
  • Roser-Renouf, C., Atkinson, L., Maibach, E., Leiserowitz, A. (2016) The consumer as climate activist. International Journal of Communication. 10: 4759–4783.
  • Thaker, J., Maibach, E., Leiserowitz, A., Zhao, X. & Howe, P. (2016) The role of collective efficacy in climate change adaptation in India.  Weather, Climate & Society, 8, 21–34.
  • Placky, B., Maibach, E., Witte, J., Ward, B., Seitter, K. et al. (2015) Climate Matters: A comprehensive educational resource for broadcast meteorologists.  Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, doi:
  • Hart, S., Feldman, L., Maibach, E., Leiserowitz, A. (2015) Extending the impacts of hostile media perceptions: Influences on discussion and opinion polarization in the context of climate change. Science Communication, 37, 506-532. 
  • Van der Linden, S., Maibach, E., Leiserowitz, A. (2015) Improving public engagement with climate change: Five “best practice” insights from psychological science. Psychological Science, 1-6. DOI: 10.1177/1745691615598516
  • Myers, T., Maibach, E., Peters, E., Leiserowitz, A. (2015) Simple messages help set the record straight about scientific agreement on human-caused climate change: The results of two experiments. PLoS ONE. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0120985
  • Van der Linden, S., Leiserowitz, A., Feinberg, G & Maibach, E. (2015) The scientific consensus on climate change as a gateway belief: Experimental evidence. PLoS ONE. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0118489
  • van der Linden, S., Clarke, C. & Maibach, E. (2015) Highlighting Consensus among Medical Scientists Increases Public Support for Vaccines. BMC Public Health. 15:1207 DOI 10.1186/s12889-015-2541-4
  • Cloyd, E., Moser, S., Maibach, E., Moldonado, J. & Chen, T. (2015) Engagement in the Third U.S. National Climate Assessment: Commitment, capacity, and communication for impact. Climatic Change. DOI 10.1007/s10584-015-1568-y
  • Maibach, E., Kreslake, J., Roser-Renouf, C., Rosenthal, S., Feinberg, G. & Leiserowitz, A. (2015) Do Americans understand that global warming is harmful to human health? Evidence from a national survey. Annals of Global Health, 81, 396-409. DOI: 10.1016/j.aogh.2015.08.010


Courses Taught

  • Comm 700: Developing and Testing Social Science Theory
  • Comm 660: Climate Change & Sustainability Communication
  • Comm 670: Social Marketing
  • Comm 641: Advanced Communication Skills for STEM Professionals


  • BA, Psychology, 1980, University of California, San Diego
  • MPH, Health Promotion, 1983, San Diego State University
  • PhD, Communication Science, 1990, Stanford University

Dissertations Supervised

John Kotcher, Reducing Resistance to Communication about Climate Change Using an Applied Self-affirmation Intervention (2016)

Neil Stenhouse, Powerful Feelings: Extending the Extended Parallel Processing Model to Collective Action on Climate Change (2015)

Jagadish Thaker, Climate Change in the Indian Mind: Role of Collective Efficacy in Cimate Change Adaptation (2012)