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Event Date: Sunday, October 28, 2018, 3:30 pm

Science, Democracy, And Climate Change: Finding the Tools to Save our Biosphere

As our nation was founded, debates arose on how to achieve the proper balance of power between (among others) a more landed aristocracy and laboring citizens; between a central executive, a representative legislature, and the courts; between educated experts and ordinary voters; between private interests and the public good. History has proven the American system of government to be remarkably resilient managing difficult crises and serving as a model for other emerging democracies throughout the globe. Some question, however, whether our current national and international institutions can solve the looming global environmental challenges of our time. Debates continue to rage as to whether climate change is real. Scientific data is rejected by many in ways that seem unprecedented and calculated projections made by experts are seen as suspect. It is impossible to debate potential solutions if we cannot first define the problem. This forum will feature historians, scientists, policy makers, activists to explore:

  • how our democracy best handles the increasing skepticism of many towards “scientific facts”
  • whether and how climate change differs from past environmental crises or is just an extension of them
  • how our democracy changed in ways that seem to make it harder for our leaders to govern, find common ground, develop solutions that put the public’s well-being ahead of individual self-gain and the rise of global capitalism
  • whether internationally signed accords (that can be invalidated by newly elected governments who did not have a hand in shaping them) are the right means to enact laws and change the daily life practices of billions to ensure the survival of the planet
  • the role of the humanities in understanding and addressing the climate change crisis.

Panelists include:

Steve Curwood, Executive Producer and Host of NPR’s, Living on Earth

David Cash, UMass Boston McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies

Evelyn Fox Keller, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Professor of the History and Philosophy of Science Emerita

Michael Pasquier, Associate Professor of Religious Studies and History, Louisiana State University

Rev. Mariama White-Hammond, AME Church in Jamaica Plain, and local activist

This event is free and open to the public but advance registration is required. Click here to register.

Event Location

Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate

210 Morrissey Blvd, Boston, MA 02125

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