March 8, 2019

Climate scientist Hayhoe to address ‘science in a fact-free world’ at Purdue symposium

Purdue’s Ecological Sciences and Engineering program will partner with the Purdue Climate Change Research Center to host Katharine Hayhoe, a world-renowned climate communicator, at ESE’s annual symposium March 26-27.

This year’s ESE symposium is titled “In Data We Trust? Perceptions of Science in a Post-truth World.” The main event, featuring Hayhoe’s lecture, “Science in a Fact-free World,” will be held at 7:30 p.m. March 27 in Stewart Center, Fowler Hall. Participants are encouraged to reserve a seat online while space remains. During this event, Hayhoe will discuss science communication and the science-public relationship while addressing one of the fundamental questions of modern science: How do scientists communicate their science in a “fact-free” world?

The event is a part of Purdue’s Ideas Festival, the centerpiece of Purdue’s Giant Leaps Sesquicentennial Campaign, which is a series of events that connect world-renowned speakers and Purdue expertise in a conversation on the most critical problems facing the world. One of the Ideas Festival’s themes is “Sustainable Economy and Planet: Innovate Today for a Sustainable Tomorrow.” 

Hayhoe, who is the director of the Climate Science Center and professor in public administration at Texas Tech University, is an accomplished climate scientist with over 125 peer-reviewed publications. Through her work communicating climate science, Hayhoe has been recognized by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world, by Foreign Policy as one of the top 100 global thinkers and by Fortune as one of the world’s 50 greatest leaders. She has recently been at the center of many major political discussions and news stories regarding the Fourth National Climate Assessment, published in late 2018. 

Each year, the Ecological Sciences and Engineering graduate program holds an event aimed at challenging the Purdue community and the public to face the world’s greatest challenges with a diverse and interdisciplinary perspective. In addition to the main event, the symposium will host several other events to facilitate a community-wide discussion on science communication. 

The event dates and descriptions are as follows: 

* March 26. “Science on Tap presents Science on Display,” 6-9 p.m. at Lafayette Brewing Company, 622 Main St., Lafayette. Presented by Science on Tap and ESE featuring Jamē McCray, environmental social scientist, Sea Grant; with art displays by Liz Anna Kozik, PhD student, Nelson Institute of Environmental Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Daniel Bird, graduate student, Forestry and Natural Resources, Purdue University; Gabriela Sincich, artist-in-residence, Department of Biological Sciences, Purdue University; and others. In partnership with Environmental and Ecological Engineering and Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant. 

* March 27. “How to Illustrate Your Science,” held 1- 2:30 p.m. in Stewart Center 214. Featuring Liz Anna Kozik. 

* March 27. “Science Communication (#SciComm) Panel,” held 2:45- 4:15 p.m. in Stewart Center 214. Moderated by Jeff Dukes, director of the Purdue Climate Change Research Center, professor of Forestry and Natural Resources and of Biological Sciences, Purdue University; and featuring Sarah McAnulty, PhD candidate, University of Connecticut, founder of Skype a Scientist; Katie O’Reilly, PhD candidate, University of Notre Dame, 2018 Sea Grant Knauss marine policy fellow; Shari Rudavsky, health and medicine reporter, Indianapolis Star; Kozik; and McCray. 

* March 27. Keynote Lecture: Hayhoe presents “Science in a Fact-Free World,” held 7:30-9 p.m. In partnership with the Purdue Climate Change Research Center. 

Any questions about the event can be directed to Becca Nixon at or Jake Hawes at

Sources: Becca Nixon, 317-370-1449,  
Jake Hawes, 574-343-9135,

Related websites: Purdue Climate Change Research Center, Ecological Sciences and Engineering 12th Annual Symposium

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