3:30 p.m. Public Lecture by Peter Mahaffy (Co-director of the King’s Centre for Visualization in Science (KCVS) in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, and Chair of the IUPAC Committee on Chemistry Education (CCE))
"Changing Climate, Changing Understanding: Visualizing the Science of Climate Change"
Abstract: The earth’s atmosphere and oceans have been fundamentally altered since the industrial revolution and particularly in the past 50 years, often at rates that greatly exceed those in the historical and recent geological record. Understanding and responding to those changes is one of the most important challenges facing our modern world. Despite the fact that much of the underlying science builds on what we know about the interaction of molecules with electromagnetic radiation, chemists, along with many other professional scientists and science educators have taken little ownership for helping students and the general public visualize and understand the science underlying climate change.
Flash animations visualize atmospheric processes and climate model outputs, and are being produced for global dissemination as a contribution to the International Year of Chemistry 2011 as part of a joint project led by IUPAC and involving the Royal Society of Chemistry, the American Chemical Society, and UNESCO. We are exploring how visualization tools can help move us beyond rhetoric and controversy to an understanding of the best available scientific evidence and ultimately to informed decisions about our societal response to this global challenge. In this presentation, we will discuss common misconceptions the public has about atmospheric processes, including climate change, and introduce the new digital learning objects created with an undergraduate team of science student researchers.
Sponsorship: Boston University Chemistry Department, NESACS, IUPAC and its CCE
A reception will be held prior to the lecture.