Sounding the Alarm

Former NASA scientist James Hansen, a noted climatology expert, will present Dickinson's annual Joseph Priestley Lecture on Thursday, Nov. 7, at 7 p.m. in the Anita Tuvin Schlechter (ATS) Auditorium, 360 West Louther Street. The lecture, titled "White House Arrest and the Climate Crisis," is free and open to the public.

Hansen, former director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, is an adjunct professor at Columbia University's Earth Institute, where he directs a program in climate science, awareness and solutions. His early research on the clouds of Venus helped identify their composition as sulfuric acid. Since the late 1970s, he has focused his research on Earth's climate, especially human-made climate change.

Hansen is best known for his testimony on climate change before congressional committees in the 1980s, which helped raise broad awareness of global warming. He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1995 and was designated by Time magazine in 2006 as one of the 100 most influential people on Earth. He has received numerous awards, including the Roger Revelle and Carl-Gustaf Rossby Research medals, the Sophie Prize and the Blue Planet Prize.

Hansen is the 2013 recipient of Dickinson's Joseph Priestley Award. Named for Joseph Priestley, the Pennsylvania scientist and scholar who discovered oxygen, the award recognizes outstanding achievement and contribution to our understanding of science and the world.

The event is supported by the college's Priestley Fund and is sponsored by The Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and Student Senate. It is cosponsored by the department of environmental studies, the Center for Sustainability Education and the departments of biology, earth sciences, psychology, physics & astronomy, chemistry and math & computer science. For more information, visit or call 717-245-1875.

Published November 6, 2013