Categories: Speakers
Dr. Katharine Hayhoe, an atmospheric scientist and professor at Texas Tech

Contact Details

College of Sciences and Humanities
765-785-1042
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This event is free and open to the public. 

Dr. Katharine Hayhoe, an atmospheric scientist and professor at Texas Tech and one of TIME's 100 Most Influential People, will deliver the Alice Proctor Killey Lecture on March 28 at 7 pm: “Science in a Fact-Free World.” The values that inspire the quest for higher education define ethical behavior in our political, economic, scientific and personal choices. So, how can good science inform sound societal decision-making?

"Science in a Fact-Free World"

Gravity doesn’t care what we believe; if we step off a cliff, we’re going down. And a thermometer doesn’t give us a different answer, depending on how we vote. Yet today, the best predictor of whether we agree that climate is changing and humans are responsible isn’t our level of education or our degree of scientific literacy: it’s simply where we fall on the political spectrum.

How can good science inform sound decision-making in a world permeated by the false notion, as Isaac Asimov said, that "democracy means that my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge”? The answer lies not in the physical sciences, but in the social science of how we as humans interact with information. By understanding the true roots of denial, it can be possible to constructively engage with deliberate attempts to politicize the science and even identify unexpected areas of common ground on which to build bridges rather than deepen existing trenches.

 

About the Lecture

The Alice Procter Killey Lecture is intended to foster a deeper appreciation of the values that underlie a liberal education and their connection to the ethical behavior in our political, economic, scientific, and personal choices. 

Alice Procter Killey received her Bachelor of Science degree from Ball State in 1955. Born in 1902 she lived through nine decades of social and technological change. 

This lectureship was established by her daughter Myrna M. Killey to honor the gift her mother gave her of a willingness to question socially accepted norms and thereby to appreciate the power and importance of social change.