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Science Pubs Will Focus on Climate-Related Resilience and Communication

By Amy Matzke-Fawcett

Two upcoming Science Pubs will highlight the importance of resilience and communication about climate issues.

On June 18, Mike Allen, assistant professor in political science and geography, will discuss extreme heat and Hampton Roads during "Building Resilience to Heat Waves in a Changing Climate" at Oozlefinch Craft Brewery on Fort Monroe. On June 25, Dan Richards, assistant professor of English, will present "The Art of Communicating Science" at O'Connor Brewing Co. in Norfolk.

Heat waves are often underestimated but can be extremely deadly, Allen said.

"Heat waves kill more people than any other natural disaster," Allen said. "Heat waves have become more frequent, longer lasting and earlier occurring, and this has significant ramifications for human health, energy costs, urban design and inequity concerns."

Alternatively, careful and informed communication about climate issues can make the difference between public engagement and misunderstanding.

"Communicating science is challenging because not only are the data complex, but the data must be framed in a way that resonates with individuals and their own lives," Richards said. "Communicating science is just as much about people as it is about data."

These Pubs are a special series partnership between the University and WHRO focusing on sea-level rise and resilience in coastal Virginia. The series is supported by WHRO's Sinking Cities initiative. Sinking Cities is produced in conjunction with Peril and Promise, a WNET initiative telling stories of climate change.

"The Science Pub program is an outstanding opportunity to learn about one of the most important challenges impacting Hampton Roads, sea-level rise," said Bert Schmidt, president and CEO of WHRO Public Media. "Joining your friends, in a relaxed atmosphere, discussing a topic with an expert provides the perfect formula get connected to local issues that affect our lives and our community, and helps us realize we have a role in addressing the challenge. We are grateful for the partnership with Old Dominion University in support of our 'Sinking Cities' project, a national public media initiative to tell stories of climate change."

Networking begins at 6:30 p.m., and the talks begin at 7 p.m. The first 20 people to arrive and check in receive a free beverage ticket. RSVPs are encouraged at bit.ly.com/SciPubsODU.

No background in the subjects are necessary; a curious mind is all that's needed. Follow Science Pubs on Facebook and Twitter for upcoming announcements, videos and updates.

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