Please join us, in person or by webcast, for this free public lecture with Katharine Hayhoe, hosted by Simon Fraser University and the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions.
The challenge of human-induced climate change and its impacts on society and the natural environment have been methodically summarized by thousands of peer-reviewed studies and decades’ worth of exhaustive reports. As the scientific evidence builds, however, public and political opinion in the U.S.—and increasingly in other developed nations including Australia, the U.K., and even here at home in Canada—is becoming ever more sharply divided along ideological, socio-economic, and religious lines.
How can scientists effectively engage on climate issues in what is becoming an increasingly hostile public environment? Our first instinct is often to assume that we just need more information; but social science shows that scientific literacy is not correlated with greater acceptance of climate science, but rather with greater polarization. Instead, I argue that understanding the reasons that have created and fed this polarization is crucial to bridging the divide and inspiring positive action, based on a foundation of shared values and concerns.
Dr. Katharine Hayhoe is an atmospheric scientist who is an Associate Professor and director of the Climate Science Center at Texas Tech University. An expert reviewer for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, her research has been dedicated to quantifying the impacts of climate change at the regional scale. Dr. Hayhoe is also founder of ATMOS Research, which strives to bridge the gap between scientists and stakeholders to provide relevant information on how climate change will affect our lives.
She was recently named one of TIME Magazine's 100 Most Influential People in the World and awarded the American Geophysical Union's Climate Communication Prize.