James Hansen to give Luther College Roslien Distinguished Lecture

April 11, 2019

In 1988 Dr. James Hansen, then director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, testified before Congress and brought the issue of climate change to the public eye. Thirty years later, he continues to raise the public alarm about climate change. Hansen will give Luther College’s 2019 David J. Roslien Lecture on Science and Leadership at 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 1, in Luther’s Center for Faith and Life, Main Hall.

The lecture, “Shape Your Future: Energy, Climate and Human Rights,” is open to the public with no charge for admission. A question and answer session and book signing will follow the lecture.

Hansen’s lecture will discuss his 1988 Congressional testimony and the ways he continues to use his research to call for action against climate change. In his recent work Hansen has outlined steps that are needed to stabilize the climate, emphasizing the immediacy of the issue and the need for policy-makers to act.

Hansen currently serves as adjunct professor at Columbia University’s Earth Institute, where he directs a program in climate science, awareness and solutions. He was trained in physics and astronomy in the space science program of Dr. James Van Allen at the University of Iowa, where he received a bachelor’s degree with highest distinctions in physics and mathematics as well as a master’s degree in astronomy and a Ph.D. in physics. Hansen’s 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.

Best known for his 1988 testimony on climate change, Hansen 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 Carl-Gustaf Rossby and Roger Revelle Research Medals, the Sophie Prize and the Blue Planet Prize. Dr. Hansen is recognized for speaking truth to power, for identifying ineffectual policies as “greenwash,” and for outlining actions that the public must take to protect the future of young people and other life on our planet.

Hansen’s May 1 lecture happens in conjunction with Luther’s Climate Justice Week, April 25-May 2″”a series of events exploring various climate-related issues. For a full schedule of Climate Justice Week events, visit luther.edu/climate-justice-week/.

A national liberal arts college with an enrollment of 2,050, Luther offers an academic curriculum that leads to the Bachelor of Arts degree in more than 60 majors and pre-professional programs. For more information about Luther visit the college’s website: http://www.luther.edu.