XR Dundee Science Talks

1st October, 2022 | 14:30 - 1st October, 2022 | 16:30

Ninewells Community Garden | Free

XR Dundee Science Talks will offer a different kind of 'talk' which seeks to build links between a range of communities and encourage an appraisal of activism both amongst attendees and speakers.

XR Dundee Science Talk Speakers include:

Professor Jill Belch[1], University of Dundee, vascular medicine, on air pollution

Dr Bridget Bradley, University of St Andrews, social anthropologist, on eco-anxiety

Dr Simon Cook, University of Dundee, glaciologist and researcher on floods in the Himalayas,

Dr Antonia Eastwood, on the biodiversity crisis, and the work of the RSPB

Scott Herrett, Friends of the Earth Scotland, Just Transition Organiser

Dr Roger Humphry[2], Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) epidemiologist and biostatistician

Dr Mike Rivington, James Hutton Institute, Aberdeen, models of climate change in connection with food security

Dr Rebecca Wade, Abertay University, soil erosion on agricultural land, and human interactions with nature and nature's interaction with the built environment

Why Dundee?

In Dundee there is a large community of scientists. The University of Dundee employs many academics whose research directly investigates or is impacted by the climate and ecological emergency. Abertay, as a post-92 university, emphasises vocational subjects. And the James Hutton Institute at Invergowrie on the western edge of Dundee is 'a globally recognised research organisation delivering fundamental and applied science to drive the sustainable use of land and natural resources'[3]. Our idea for the Science Talks arose partly in response to the discovery, before the recent May local elections, that a number of academics were standing as Scottish Green Party council candidates. Could this wish for greater political engagement also indicate a willingness to engage with and explore the role of activism?

We aim to

  • Provide a different kind of talk which combines facts, emotions and a greater acknowledgment of urgency - by allowing scientists to 'be human' and articulate their emotional response to their findings we hope to give scientists permission to take a stronger position and perhaps allow them the freedom to break out of the ‘normal’ artificiality of emotion-free academic discourse.
  • Make links to the academic science community - we want to give scientists the opportunity to engage in a discourse with each other, with the wider public and to encourage them to explore the value of building links with non-academics and activists.
  • Encourage new sign-ups and active participation in activism for climate and ecology - we want to engage audience members by including time for questions and discussion which would send them away informed but also empowered.
  • Strengthen existing collaborations with, amongst others, the following groups, organisations and networks - Dundee Botanic Gardens (Kevin Frediani, Curator), Scottish Communities Climate Action Network Scottish Communities Climate Action Network (Martha Smart, Climate Action Network Co-Ordinator - Tayside), Ninewells Community Garden, Riverside Nature Park (Ian Ford, Chair), Friends of the Earth - Tayside (Andy Llanwarne, Co-ordinator), and the Scottish Green Party

Why ‘Apocalypse Now? Dispatches from the Scientific Front Lines’?

The title of the talks is important and will be a key way of framing and presenting them. We are understanding the idea of ‘apocalypse’ as incorporating the original meaning of revelation or the uncovering of true meaning. Our emphasis is, therefore, on disclosing the truth. In this way we are fulfilling XR's first demand of 'Tell the Truth'.

Organised by XR DUNDEE