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Dispatches from a Solarpunk Future: Combining Art & Science to Solve the Climate Crisis

September 28, 2023 @ 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm

As the climate emergency continues to intensify, much of the public & institutional response to mounting disaster remains stalemated. Perhaps this is the result of nihilist framing of the crisis by activists, media, & scientists, a paradigm often referred to as `climate doomerism’.

The emerging solarpunk movement–which includes the work of artists, writers, philosophers, and scientists–can provide an alternative, post-nihilistic, pathway for actualizing solutions to climate change. There exists, therefore, an exciting & necessary opportunity for scientists to collaborate with artists to not only improve the communication of climate science, but also to bolster the production of scientific knowledge.

Dr. Tosca will present the results of several collaborative projects—inspired by that work—that combine the scientific method with design and art-making processes. These ‘solarpunk’ approaches synthesize art and science toward imagining (and building) a more optimistic future. Sharing that we need more of these types of approaches if we are ever going to inspire our collective imaginations and solve the climate crisis in time.

Dr. Tosca currently serves as a climate scientist and an Associate Professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.  Her current research and public outreach explores the the synthesis of art and climate science and posits that engaging with artists, designers, and makers is instrumental to solving the climate crisis.   Her visit to Auburn is sponsored by the Auburn National Science Foundation Research Traineeship, the Department of Geosciences, and the Office of Sustainability.


September 28, 2023
3:30 pm - 4:30 pm
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