2023 Annual Public Lecture Series

Free weekly lectures throughout June

Metcalf Institute is celebrating 25 years of bringing science to the conversation! Join us throughout June 2023 for a weekly dose of inspiration and education as part of our Annual Public Lecture Series. Each week in June, we bring you a free, virtual talk with an inspired thought leader, grappling with real-world issues of climate change and the clean energy transition. Together, we’ll explore the latest research and collaborative efforts to respond to our changing environment.

We did things differently this year! We held our Annual Lecture Series throughout the month of June, with the keystone Leeson Lecture held both in-person and via Zoom on June 15th, 2023, during the in-person Annual Science Immersion Workshop for Journalists.

All lectures are free and will be live-streamed via Zoom. Limited in-person seating was available for the June 15 Leeson Lecture.

All of our lectures are accessible for deaf and hard of hearing via live ASL interpreters and Zoom captioning.

2023 Public Lecture Schedule

  • Revamping America’s Energy Landscape: Balancing Sustainability and Land Use Impact with Dr. Grace Wu - Dr. Grace Wu will kick off the 2023 Annual Lecture Series with a discussion about the critical planning discussions needed for a clean energy future. The latest energy roadmaps for "decarbonizing" (reaching net zero greenhouse gas emissions) predict a three to fourfold increase in wind and solar power infrastructure. This scale of growth also needs to consider the impacts on plants, animals, and humans. While most plans for decarbonizing typically focus on technology and economics, Dr. Wu's research integrates environmental and social factors. Join us to learn how we can revamp energy planning processes to better address the land use dimensions of renewable energy infrastructure. Don't miss this opportunity to explore the intersection of energy and environmental responsibility.
  • Sergio Castellanos Rodriguez Exploring Inequities in the Transportation Sector, with Dr. Sergio Castellanos Rodriguez - Thursday, June 8th from 1-2pm ET
    Emphasizing equity in the way sustainable technologies are rolled out and in how decision-makers develop their urban infrastructure planning is critical to ensure a movement towards a just and inclusive society, especially in the context of a clean energy transition.
  • How We Move On: Planning for a Future Without Fossil Fuels, with Dr. Emily Grubert -

    Thursday, June 15th from 4:30-5:30pm

    As the world faces the urgent need to address climate change, the transition to cleaner and more sustainable energy sources has become a critical priority. We know we need drastic change - and it’s essential we phase out systems that emit greenhouse gases. So, how do we move forward? And what will this process look like? Dr. Grubert, civil engineer and environmental sociologist, studies exactly these questions. As the 2023 Leeson Lecturer, she'll discuss how we can navigate this massive, society-wide shift as safely - and quickly - as possible. During the "midtransition" period, where we're retiring fossil fuel infrastructure while developing new systems, it's essential to ensure that services are still provided and that our systems remains safe. This will be especially challenging for high-hazard industries that may be difficult to manage. Dr. Grubert will draw on her expertise to describe the challenges and opportunities presented by the clean energy transition, examining the social, economic, and political factors that influence its progress. Attendees can expect a thought-provoking and informative discussion on one of the most pressing issues of our time.

  • Panel: Innovartions in the Clean Energy Transition Panel: Innovations in the Clean Energy Transition - Join us for a thought-provoking panel designed to uncover possible solutions for the clean energy transition that are not commonly discussed, such as sustainable approaches to hydropower and energy storage. Gia Schneider (Natel Energy), Ramya Swaminathan (Malta), and other experts will share their insights and experience in a moderated discussion about promising technologies and potential tradeoffs.
  • Insights from the Climate Beat with Sammy Roth - There’s arguably no subject more important for journalists to get right than climate change. Sammy Roth has spent the last decade learning how to cover this complicated and ever-changing beat, with a focus on the shift from fossil fuels to clean power. He’ll discuss what he’s learned on the front lines of the renewable energy transition, from the difficulty of finding low-conflict sites for solar and wind farms to the mistakes many reporters make when writing about climate.
Thursday, June 1st from 1-2pmDr. Grace Wu
Thursday, June 8th from 1-2pmDr. Sergio Castellanos Rodriguez
Thursday, June 15th from 4:30-5:30pmLeeson Lecture with Dr. Emily Grubert
Thursday, June 22nd from 1-2pmPanel Discussion: Innovations in the Clean Energy Transition
Thursday, June 29th from 1-2pmSammy Roth