ICAT Playdate: Science Museums and Climate Change – how should science museums handle controversial topics?

Friday, January 26, 2018
Location & Time: 

8:30 – 9:30am

ICAT Learning Studio, 253 Moss Arts Center

Description: The human fingerprint on our planet’s changing climate can now be seen on
individual extreme weather events, such as the extremely warm US temperatures during
February 2017 – which in turn led to some of the earliest springtime phenological events on
record.  However, public conversations about and understanding of climate change tend to
focus on far-off impacts like changing sea-levels and Arctic sea ice coverage – events that are
generally perceived to be non-threatening to daily American life. What are the tools we can
leverage to tell the story of local climate change and its impacts on our visitors’ health,
recreation, and daily lives? Here, I’ll share some tactics that have been shown to increase the
positive impact of climate change communication for different types of audiences, ranging from
“K to Grey.”
Speaker: Jeremy Hoffman, Science Museum of Virginia
Dr. Jeremy Hoffman graduated wtih Distinction in Geology from Augustana College in Rock
Island, Illinois, then earned his Ph.D. in Geology with a focus in Paleoclimatology at Oregon State
University as a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow and OMSI Science
Communication Fellow. He is now the Climate and Earth Scientist at the Science Museum of
Virginia, focusing on local and regional climate trends and making observations accessible to the
public through data visualization, exhibit spaces, and educational multimedia.