Panel Discussion on Climate Change to Feature Shukla

Posted: December 3, 2007 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

An interdisciplinary panel of Mason experts will present “A Science and Society Discussion on Climate Change: Science and Politics for the Future” on Thursday, Dec. 6, at noon in the Johnson Center Cinema on the Fairfax Campus.

A follow-up to the well-attended talk on global warming given by Professor Jagadish Shukla last month, the panel will feature Shukla, chair of the Climate Dynamics Department and member of the Nobel-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and a lead author of the group’s most recent assessment.

Recently a groundswell of scientific evidence and public opinion has shifted the political landscape considerably on the issue of climate change and global warming. Through the efforts of the IPCC and thousands of scientists around the world, as well as the power of effective communication as embodied in Al Gore’s Nobel-winning efforts, the political environment for climate change action has been radically altered. Where do we stand now? What needs to be done?

The panel discussion will analyze where the science and politics is now headed. What is our understanding of the problem and what will scientists be working on? How do we go forward to continue to engage the public? And what are the inherent political conflicts and how can they be resolved?

In addition to Shukla, the other panelists are

  • Edward Maibach, director of the Center of Excellence in Climate Change Communication Research, a highly experienced public advocate and social change professional and a leading academic in the field of communication research.
  • Michael Shank, government relations advisor at the Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution. For the past decade, Shank has served as an analyst and adviser to the UN, government and nongovernmental representatives in the Middle East, South and Southeast Asia and the United States.

The free discussion is sponsored by Mason’s Center for Science and Society, directed by Matt Zingraff, associate dean for research for the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, and Paul Schopf, associate dean for research and computing in the College of Science.

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