ESERA 2019 – Keynote for Science Teachers in Bologna

I am heading to Bologna where I will be talking to the annual ESERA Conference – August 26-30, 2019. ESERA is one of the most important conference on science education that we have in Europe. I will talk about the topics I have been working on the last years and will be part of my upcoming book. I will also talk about the collaboration I did with Rice University and Oddur Sigurðsson geologist with the Ok Glacier Memorial. That might be a good example of the collaboration of science, humanities and the arts.

Here are the invited plenary speakers:

And here is my program:

Plenary Monday 26th

On Time and Water
Andri Snær Magnason, writer, Iceland

During the next 100 years we expect to see a fundamental change of all the elements of water on our planet. Many glaciers will melt and the sea levels will rise at a faster rate than has been seen before. Acidification will bring the oceans to a pH level not seen in 30 million years. Patterns of rain and snow will change dramatically in most areas. We could say that nature is not changing in geological speed anymore but entering human speed. This extreme shift is larger than any metaphor or any words or language we are used to. Just like the huge gravity of a black hole makes it invisible, you could say that this issue is so large that it swallows all words and meaning. We hear words like “climate change” but for most people they are just white noise, 99% of the real meaning is not included in our imagination. To describe a black hole you look at the surrounding galaxies and to understand these issues Andri weaves a web of stories from mythology, to his grandmother’s honeymoon on Europe’s largest glacier, to our understanding of our intimate time. We are faced with the almost impossible task of cutting carbon emissions to zero in 2050 according to newest studies. The question is – are we too late to do something? What can actually be done in 30 years? This calls for nothing less than a new scientific revolution, projects on the scale of the Manhattan project, new paradigms and a new approach to almost everything done in the 20th century. This huge narrative should be a source of motivation for all science studies in the next decades.

Andri Snær Magnason is an Icelandic writer born in Reykjavik. He is a writer of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, plays and documentary films. His book LoveStar won the Philip K. Dick special citation in 2014 and Le Grand prix de l’Imaginaire in France 2016. and his children’s book, The Story of the Blue Planet was the first children’s book to win the Icelandic literary award and has been published in 32 languages. His book Dreamland, a Self Help Manual for a Frightened Nation has contributed to a new energy policy in Iceland and the vision of the Highland National Park in the Central Highlands of Iceland. Andri Snær Magnason ran for president in Iceland in 2016 and came third in the election.



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