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A Climate of Hope: Scientists and Faith Communities Addressing the Climate Crisis

1200 New York Ave. NW, Washington, DC


Alan Leshner Welcome 0:00 - 2:34
Jennifer Wiseman Introduction 2:35 -12:56
Katharine Hayhoe Speaker 12:57 - 48:06
Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori Discussant 48:18 - 1:12:18
Q&A   1:14:40-1:44:54


The 2019 DoSER Holiday Lecture

Hands supporting the earth

Worldwide, accumulated data show that the climate is changing at an unprecedented rate and that this crisis is primarily a result of human activity. The changes have resulted in warming oceans, extreme weather events, shrinking ice sheets, sea level rise, and more. Delicate ecosystems and the poorest and most vulnerable people in societies are disproportionately affected by the devastation. 

Many religious communities are working closely with scientists, civic leaders, and policy-makers to address the causes and effects of climate change. However, although there is overlap between the groups, sometimes scientists and people of faith experience challenges understanding and engaging with each other. Dr. Katharine Hayhoe and Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, as scientists and leaders in their faith communities, help build trust and enhance communication between the scientific and religious communities. They connect forefront science with a passion for world service in ways that resonate with both groups, fostering dialogue about shaping effective practices for environmental stewardship. 

On December 17, 2019, AAAS DoSER hosted Dr. Hayhoe, and Bishop Jefferts Schori for a discussion on climate change, environmental stewardship, and ways faith communities and scientists are working together to address one of today’s most pressing issues.

Welcome and Introduction

Dr. Alan I Leshner, Interim Chief Executive Officer, AAAS

Dr. Jennifer Wiseman, Director, AAAS DoSER program


Dr. Katharine Hayhoe, Texas Tech University

Dr. Katharine Hayhoe, climate scientist and director of Texas Tech University Climate Science Center

Katharine Hayhoe is an atmospheric scientist whose research focuses on developing and applying high-resolution climate projections to understand what climate change means for people and the natural environment. She is a professor and Director of the Climate Science Center at Texas Tech University and has a B.S. in Physics from the University of Toronto and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Atmospheric Science from the University of Illinois. 

Dr. Hayhoe has served as a lead author for the Second and Third U.S. National Climate Assessments and has conducted climate impact assessments for a broad cross-section of organizations, cities and regions, from Boston Logan Airport to the state of California. She chairs the Earth Science Women's Network Advisory Council, and also serves on the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History's Anthropocene Advisory Council, the American Geophysical Union's Climate Communications Prize Committee, and the advisory board for the AAAS How We Respond project. She has received numerous awards, including the 2019 United Nations Champions of the Earth Award and the 2018 Stephen H. Schneider Award for Outstanding Climate Science Communication, and has been named one of the Foreign Policy's 100 Leading Global Thinkers (2014 and 2019), one of Fortune's World’s Greatest Leaders (2017), and one of Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People (2014).


Rt. Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori

The Rt. Rev. Dr. Katharine Jefferts Schori, XXVI Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church

Katharine Jefferts Schori was elected Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church in June 2006, and until November 2015 served as chief pastor to The Episcopal Church’s members in 17 nations, working to strengthen mission partnerships across the Anglican Communion and with other religious and civic partners. Bishop Jefferts Schori has been vocal about mission priorities, including the United Nations Development Goals (MDGs and SDGs), domestic poverty, climate change and care for the earth, and international issues of peace and justice.  

Prior to her role as presiding bishop, Bishop Jefferts Schori served as Bishop of Nevada, and earlier was a university lecturer (fisheries, religious studies, and philosophy), priest, and hospice chaplain in Oregon. She began her career as an oceanographer. She holds a B.S. in biology from Stanford University, an M.S. and Ph.D. in oceanography from Oregon State University, and has been awarded several honorary doctorates. She served on President Obama’s Council on Neighborhood and Faith-Based Partnerships, and on the Division of Earth and Life Studies board of the National Academy of Sciences.

Following Event: Telling Stories About Climate Change Responses with Katharine Hayhoe

Wednesday, December 18, 2019, 9:00am - 10:30am
AAAS Headquarters (1200 New York Ave. NW, Washington DC, 2nd floor)

On Wednesday, December 18, the Center for Public Engagement with Science and Technology hosted a moderated conversation with Dr. Katharine Hayhoe (Texas Tech University), Dr. Katy Hinman (AAAS DoSER: Dialogue on Science, Ethics and Religion program), Daniel Barry (AAAS Local Science Engagement Network) and Emily Therese Cloyd (AAAS Center for Public Engagement with Science and Technology). This discussion will focus on ways of responding to questions about how to take individual and community-level action on climate change. The event will include a short film from the How We Respond project.

Watch the Facebook Live recording of the event.

This free public event is hosted by the AAAS Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion program.  For questions please contact