Bevan Series (SAFS weekly seminar): Truth-telling in the Salish Sea: The Black Art of Communicating Climate Change

The Bevan Series is a weekly guest-lecture series hosted by the UW School of Aquatic & Fishery Sciences on Thursdays in winter quarter from 4:30-5:30 pm in FSH 102 Auditorium. The lectures are free and open to the public (no ticket required).

Lynda V. Mapes

The Seattle Times

Truth-telling in the Salish Sea: The Black Art of Communicating Climate Change

I will discuss the essential link between a free press, and free scientific inquiry. In a world of fake news, how do scientists, and journalists get the truth out to the public and policy makers that need to hear it, in ways they will listen? What is the unique contribution that science has to make to the public policy debate? How do scientists get their data beyond the realm of technical papers and the academy to the public realm where it can make a difference – without tarting up, compromising or dumbing down the findings? How do reporters communicate science to a lay audience that may be unfamiliar to – and not even necessarily open to – what science has to say? Truth Telling in the Salish Sea is talk not only about the how-to of effective science communication, but why it is so critical.
Lynda Mapes is the environment reporter at The Seattle Times, and author of five books. Over the course of her career she has won numerous national and regional awards, most recently a 2012 award from the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the world’s largest professional science association. She has written four previous books, most recently Witness Tree, published by Bloombury in April, 2017 which tells the story of climate change through the life of a single 100-year old oak. Her book Elwha, a River Reborn (Mountaineers Books, 2013) about the largest dam removal project ever in history and the effort to restore a wilderness watershed in Washington’s Olympic National Park, and its once legendary salmon runs was also the subject of a major exhibit at the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture. Her forthcoming book, Rescuing Rialto, (Houghton Mifflin, 2019) Lynda’s first children’s book, tells the story of the rescue and rehabilitation of a baby sea otter orphaned on Washington’s Rialto beach. In 2013-14 Lynda was awarded a 9-month Knight fellowship in Science Journalism at MIT. In 2014-15 she was a Bullard Fellow at the Harvard Forest, exploring the human and natural history of a single, 100-year old oak for her book, Witness Tree. She lives in Seattle.