Last week scientists on Twitter answered the call from one of their peers, an Alabama ecologist named David Steen, and introduced themselves to Twitterverse using the hashtag #actuallivingscientist. It was a delightful sight to see for a science enthusiast like me. The hashtag ended up trending, earned it’s own Moment on Twitter, and inspired passionate responses by non-scientist Twitter users. This Twitter campaign also became the subject of many articles, like this and this, helping to expand the reach of this online real-scientist campaign well outside of Twitter. Later social scientists joined this effort using the hashtag #actualsocialscientist.
Like me, you may have been wondering how to explain global warming to your swim coach since he’s been complaining about the unusually cold weather this year. You may hear him say something like this:
I am freezing here, why the hell are these scientists saying we have global warming?
I teach biology at a local community college, and every semester discussions about global warming facts are part of the curriculum. This year, I decided to supplement my teaching with screening the documentary Before the Flood in the classroom. I then gave the students an assignment asking them to answer this question:
What did you learn from watching Before the Flood, and state what you will do differently as a result of what you learned
Here is what I learned from my small classroom experiment about the level of awareness on global warming facts among college students: