Environmental Reporter and Columbia University Research Professor Focus on the Politicization of Science and the Science of Global Warming at Kingsborough’s 11th Annual Eco-Festival

Chris Mooney

Jason Smerdon

Kingsborough Community College announced today that Washington Post Energy and the Environment reporter Chris Mooney and Columbia University Research Professor Jason Smerdon will deliver remarks at the 11th annual Eco-Festival from April 26-28 in the Lighthouse Rotunda at the college. This year’s theme is “Knowledge Becomes Action,” exploring the importance of knowledge and information as guides to action.

Mooney will speak about the “politicization of science,” or political interference with science, especially on the subject of climate change. He will examine what climate change is and why it is happening. As it relates to the new presidential administration, Mooney will discuss implications for science, how it can be undermined politically, how to protect against it, and why different U.S. administrations have developed different approaches to this problem.

In reporting on climate change, Mooney has traveled from the Amazon to the Petermann Glacier at 81 degrees North Latitude in Greenland, where he slept on a floating ice sheet hundreds of miles from civilization. He has reported from the negotiations for the Paris Climate Agreement and struggling native villages in the Alaskan Arctic. From the perspective of human psychology, Mooney will explain why, from the perspective of human psychology, the desire to bend science is likely inevitable, necessitating strong safeguards to ensure that these tendencies do not affect policy and decision-making.

Jason Smerdon, an expert in climate change research, who studies climate variability and change using paleoclimate archives and models to characterize climate during the last two thousand years.

In addition to dozens of scientific publications, he has authored a student companion to the popular-science book Climate Change: The Science of Global Warming and Our Energy Future.

Smerdon, who has been recognized with various awards, will delve into the facts of climate science and counter the arguments of even the most persuasive climate denialists during his presentation. He regularly lectures on climate change and the science and politics of global warming. He also serves as the Director of the Undergraduate Program in Sustainable Development at Columbia University.

About Eco-Festival

Eco-Festival brings together more than 1,000 participants and attendees, including students, faculty, staff, and the community to engage in a dialogue to examine global impacts of environmental challenges, and to discuss ways of increasing public awareness and response through civic engagement and volunteerism. Participants will examine environmental literacy and the topic of sustainability through expert speakers, panel discussions, documentary film screenings and faculty and student presentations.

Eco-Festival speakers represent a vibrant array of individuals working in the sustainability and environmental space; the three-day conference offers a number of faculty- and student-led discussions and presentations which enhance participants’ experience. The festival also includes a civic engagement component; students attending on April 28th can earn the required credit for graduation. A full schedule of Eco-Festival events is available here.

About Kingsborough Community College  

At Kingsborough, the community comes first, and as Brooklyn’s only community college, we promote student learning and development as well as strengthening and serving a highly diverse borough. Kingsborough provides a high-quality education through associate degree programs that prepare students for transfer to senior colleges or entry into the workforce. More than 16,000 full- and part-time students attend KCC annually for credit and non-credit bearing courses in liberal arts and career education. Kingsborough also serves an additional 20,000 students in its expanding continuing education and workforce development programs on- and off-campus.


Dawn Walker (718) 368-5060 / (917) 588-6305