2016 Annual Public Lecture Series

Scientists and Journalists: Getting the Point Across

Corless Auditorium
University of Rhode Island
Graduate School of Oceanography
218 South Ferry Road
Narragansett, RI 02882

All lectures are free and open to the public.  View past lecture videos on the Metcalf Institute YouTube channel.
Learn more about Metcalf’s Public Lectures


Deken Arndt - Monday Monday, June 6, 3:30 p.m.
Deke Arndt – Pausing for Debate: The Global Warming Hiatus in Scientific and Public Discourse
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Last year, researchers at NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information determined that a potential global warming hiatus in the early 2000s was explained by a technical correction in observed ocean data, but the finding mushroomed into a major scientific publication that generated millions of words in public commentary. Deke Arndt, NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information, reviewed the scientific basis and impact of the technical correction and how the findings played out in the public conversation.
Jasmin John - Tuesday Tuesday, June 7, 3:30 p.m.
Jasmin John – How Will Efforts to Address Climate Change Impact the Ocean?
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Given the close links between Earth’s climate and ocean, climate change has already affected ocean chemistry and ecosystems. As policy makers work to limit carbon emissions, scientists are trying to predict how different approaches might affect marine biodiversity and the growth of phytoplankton, microscopic plants that drive ocean ecosystems. Jasmin John, NOAA Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, showed models depicting a range of responses, with important consequences for ocean life and public health.
index Wednesday, June 8, 3:30 p.m.
Samantha Medlock – Flood Risk Policy and Law in the Era of Climate Change
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As sea levels rise worldwide, flooding is a growing problem for communities, businesses, and policy makers, leading to broadly significant legal decisions and novel collaborations. Samatha Medlock, White House Office of Management and Budget, summarized federal policy advancements, including the development of data, tools, and standards to support flood resilience. She also discussed important legal developments and the role of financial markets in reducing climate impacts.
Jon Krosnick - Thursday Thursday, June 9, 3:30 p.m.
Jon Krosnick – What Americans Really Think About Climate Change

Many scientists are frustrated by Americans’ apparent indifference to and government inaction on climate change, while policy makers continue to highlight scientific disagreement. Why this disconnect? Jon Krosnick, Stanford University, described the surprising results of his research on American opinion, illuminating the politics of climate change.
Curt Guyette 100x150 Friday, June 10, 11 a.m.
Curt Guyette – Uncovering Flint’s Water Disaster: Insights from the Reporter Who Broke the Story

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In one of the biggest news stories of 2015, Guyette reported that as many as 100,000 Flint, Michigan, residents were found to be exposed to harmful toxic chemicals in the water supply. Curt Guyette, Michigan ACLU, shared what he learned from reporting this public health crisis and discuss the need for watchdog-investigative reporting.

View Previous Lectures: 2015 |2014 | 2013 | 2013 Peter Lord Seminar Lecture2012 | 2011 |2010 | 2009 | 2008
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*All lecture sketch notes courtesy of Katie Pratt, Ph.D. – Office of Marine Programs, URI Graduate School of Oceanography.

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