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Paper: Teaching Climate Change
Volume: 443, Earth and Space Science: Making Connections in Education and Public Outreach
Page: 355
Authors: O'Donoghue, A.
Abstract: The science of climate change often gets lost behind the political debate. It presents those of us who teach physical science both the responsibility and the opportunity to teach both the science and, as importantly, the process of science to our students and the general public. Part of the problem is that the science—reconstruction of past climate through the use of proxy sources, such as isotopes of oxygen and hydrogen—is complex, making teaching it to science-averse students and general audiences even more challenging. Also, in our times when every action and statement is suspected of having a political motivation, teaching the process of science—data gathering and analysis, hypothesis testing and peer review—as our way of keeping science as truthful as possible so that the conclusions are more than just another opinion presents as great a challenge as teaching the science itself. I have been teaching a course in Global Climate since 2000, have taught elderhostel courses twice, and have given many public talks on this topic. Thus I have experience in this area to share with others. I would also like to learn of others’ approaches to the vast amount of scientific information and getting past the politics. A special interest group on climate change will allow those of us to teach this important topic to share how we approach both the science and the politics of this issue.
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