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Renowned Science Writer to Open Climate Lecture Series
A former science reporter at The New York Times, Andrew Revkin will give a public talk at the UA on Jan. 26.
Andrew Revkin, an award-winning science reporter and author who covered environmental issues for The New York Times for nearly 15 years, will speak at the University of Arizona on Jan. 26.
During his free public talk, "9 Billion People + 1 Planet = ?," which will be held at 3:30 p.m. in Room 120 of the Integrated Learning Center, Revkin will discuss efforts to balance human activities with the planet's finite resources.
The event kicks off the UA lecture series, Clearing the Air: Arizona's Voice for Environmental Science, which will include talks by four renowned experts on communicating climate and environmental science. The series is designed to highlight the importance of communicating science broadly and clearly.
"Andy is among the most admired and respected of science journalists and brings a broad perspective from working in both traditional and new media," said Julia Cole, a UA professor of geosciences who helped organize the series and has taught courses on climate change and communicating science.
"We hope his talk, and the ones that follow later in the spring, will inspire students and researchers to get involved in outreach that makes their science understandable to the public."
The title of Revkin's talk refers to projections that the human population will hit 9 billion by the middle of this century. Thus far, spikes in population and resource appetites have been sustained by technology and fossil fuels. But the road toward a more stable, prosperous human population later in the century can be made smoother or bumpier depending on choices made now-including the choice to stick with business as usual.
During his talk, Revkin will present an optimistic, but realistic, exploration of ways to foster progress on a finite planet-including the unique role of universities as hubs of innovation, learning and, most important, doing.
Revkin has spent more than a quarter of a century covering subjects ranging from the assault on the Amazon to the Asian tsunami, from the troubled relationship of science and politics to climate change at the North Pole.
As a journalist for The New York Times, he made three trips to the Arctic to report on climate change and was among the first reporters to file stories and photos from the floating sea ice around the Pole. Revkin left the Times staff at the end of 2009 to become a senior fellow at Pace University's Pace Academy for Applied Environmental Sciences.
A pioneer in multimedia journalism, he continues to write the Times' Dot Earth blog, which is read by millions of people in more than 200 countries.
Revkin previously worked as a senior editor of Discover and a senior writer at Science Digest. He has written acclaimed books on the Amazon, global warming and the Arctic.
In September he became the first two-time winner of the Communication Award bestowed jointly by the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering and Institute of Medicine. He also has received the prestigious John Chancellor Award for sustained excellence in journalism for his coverage of climate change.
Revkin has a biology degree from Brown University and a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University. He has taught at Columbia's Graduate School of Journalism and the Bard College Center for Environmental Policy, and he launched the graduate course, Blogging a Better Planet, at Pace University.
Revkin's talk is part of a lecture series that includes three other speakers at the UA throughout the spring semester:
- Mark Lynas, an award-winning writer, visiting research associate at Oxford University's Environmental Change Institute and advisor on climate change to the president of the Maldives. He has authored three books – two on climate change and one focusing on how humans can protect and nurture the biosphere. His lecture, "Living Within Planetary Boundaries: How Should the 'God Species' Respond to Global Environmental Change?," will be held at 3:30 p.m. on March 2 in Room 404 of the Harvill Building as part of the School of Geography and Development colloquium.
- Susan Joy Hassol, a climate change communicator, analyst and author known for her ability to translate research into plain English, making the science more accessible to policy makers and the public. Hassol directs the Boulder, Co.-based organization Climate Communication. As the plenary speaker for the UA's School of Earth and Environmental Sciences' EarthWeek 2012, she will give the talk, "Telling the Climate Change Story," focusing on how scientists can improve communication of their research. Her presentation will be held at 4 p.m. on March 29 in the North Ballroom of the Student Union Memorial Center.
- Jon Krosnick, a social psychologist at Stanford University who has been conducting survey research on the American public's views of global warming for 15 years. His research also focuses on attitude formation, change, and effects; the psychology of political behavior; and survey research methods. He will discuss how the public understands environmental science during his talk on April 19, "What Americans Really Think about Climate Change." The time and location of the talk will be announced as the event approaches.
The lecture series is sponsored by the UA's Water Sustainability Program, Institute of the Environment, Renewable Energy Network, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, College of Science, Biosphere 2, College of Law and School of Geography and Development.