February 12 was the 209th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin, the father of the theory of evolution. To celebrate his contributions to science and humanity, Darwin Day will be recognized in Iowa City February 23-24 with a series of conversations about topics in science, education, and climate change.
On this episode of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks to this year’s featured speakers to get a preview of Iowa City’s upcoming Darwin Day events. Joining the conversation are James Hansen, a native Iowan and former Director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, Asheley Landrum, assistant professor of Strategic Science Communication at Texas Tech University, Paul Strode, a high school science teacher from Boulder, Colorado, and Jacqueline Gill, assistant professor at the University of Maine Climate Change Institute.
These four experts emphasize the importance of education and scientific literacy in the face of climate change, particularly for young people. Gill, a paleoecologist and biogeographer who studies climate-driven extinctions of the past, says that a key element of scientific research should be accessibility.
“I feel very strongly about what I call science for everyone,” Gill says. “That’s the idea that science should be done in the public interest, it should be accessible and easily communicated to every American, and also that the pathways to science should be available to anyone who wants to pursue them.”
More information on Darwin Day events can be found here.