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Bucknell to Explore Ecology, Human Rights at Sustainability Symposium

Famed Climate Scientist, Columbia Professor Dr. James Hansen to Give Keynote

LEWISBURG, Pa. — Famed Columbia University climate scientist Dr. James Hansen, whose 1988 Congressional testimony on climate change helped raise broad awareness of global warming, will be the keynote speaker when Bucknell University’s Center for Sustainability and the Environment (BCSE) presents its seventh annual Sustainability Symposium Friday and Saturday, April 26 and 27. This year’s symposium theme is “Envisioning the Future: Energy, Climate, & Human Rights.”

An adjunct professor at Columbia’s Earth Institute where he directs a program in Climate Science, Awareness and Solutions, Hansen’s talk “Young People’s World: Making Your Future Energy, Climate & Human Rights” will take place on April 26 at 8 p.m. in the Weis Center of the Performing Arts. His talk is free and open to the public, although advanced ticket reservation is required here.

“Dr. Hansen is certainly recognized as one of the leading voices on climate change and global warming awareness,” said Peter Jansson, an electrical & computer engineering professor and faculty director of BCSE. “He is recognized for speaking truth about outlining actions needed to protect the future of young people and all species on the planet.”

Hansen is the author of the book Storms of My Grandchildren: The Truth About the Coming Climate Catastrophe and Our Last Chance to Save Humanity (Bloomsbury Press, 2009). The book describes how the burning of fossil fuels is changing our climate and argues that this is putting Earth into imminent peril. His forthcoming book Sophie’s Planet: A Search for Truth About Our Remarkable Home Planet and Its Future (Bloomsbury Press, April 2020) is a series of letters to his granddaughter, Sophie Kivlehan, showing how it is still possible to ensure that young people inherit a clean world. The 2017 Sustainability Symposium keynote speaker as a high school senior, Kivlehan plans to join her grandfather’s talk this year and participate in other events as part of the symposium.

Formerly director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, Hansen is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and has received numerous awards including the Sophie and Blue Planet Prizes.

“When the history of the climate crisis is written, Hansen will be seen as the scientist with the most powerful and consistent voice calling for intelligent action to preserve our planet’s environment,” said former Vice President Al Gore in Time magazine.

Since 2013, Bucknell’s annual Sustainability Symposium has explored diverse aspects of sustainability. This schedule includes the following:

Friday, April 26:
5-7 p.m. Poster Session (Peer reviewed), Terrace Room, Elaine Langone Center (ELC)
8-9:30 p.m. Keynote Address by Dr. James Hansen, Weis Center for Performing Arts

Saturday, April 27:
9 a.m. Plenary Dialogue Session, Forum, ELC
10-11 a.m. Oral Presentations, Forum, ELC
11-11:30 a.m. Wrap-up and Closing, Forum, ELC

This symposium is presented by BCSE, with sponsorship by The Office of the President, The Provost’s Office, The Office of Religious and Spiritual Life, The Dean’s Office of the Freeman College of Management, The Dean’s Office of the College of Engineering, The Environmental Science & Studies Department, The Electrical & Computer Engineering Department, The Bucknell Farm, The Humanities Center, The Office of Campus Sustainability, The Department of Economics, The Department of Geography, the Department of Geology & Environmental Geosciences, The Department of Chemistry, The Department of Physics, The Department of Women & Gender Studies, The Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity & Gender, the CAP Center, The Department of Managing for Sustainability, The Department of Biomedical Engineering, The Department of Mechanical Engineering, The Department of Education, the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, the Department of Religion, and the Department of Biology.


CONTACTS: Samantha Myers, BCSE, 570-577-2437,; Mike Ferlazzo, 570-577-3212, 570-238-6266 (c),

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