Climate, Censorship and Culture Wars: Climate Ed. In A Time of Global Backlash

Start: 2024-02-21 11:00:00 UTC Eastern Standard Time (US & Canada) (GMT-05:00)

This is a virtual event

A cross-national dialogue organized by two OSUN institutions.

2023 marked a perilous year for climate-concerned educators around the world. According to PEN America, the U.S. has seen the spread of “state-level legislation [that facilitate] a chilled climate in public education.” The chief aim of such legislation is to shape classroom discussions on race, gender, and increasingly, climate change. These efforts have both mirrored and differed from disputes in Europe, where governments have criminalized and censored climate protest and more radical forms of climate advocacy on university campuses. Amidst this context, the question of how we approach educating students on the climate crisis becomes an urgent one. As climate-concerned educators, we have a duty to prepare our students for the world that they’re inheriting, but we must also ask ourselves this: how do we navigate this work during a time when climate education is increasingly politicized and censored in our schools? And what strategies can we learn from science educators on the forefront of this issue in the U.S. and Europe?

During this Webinar, we will be joined by James Dyke (Associate Professor in Earth Systems Science, the University of Exeter) who has both navigated these questions himself, and conducted crucial research on the role of the university during our time of Climate Crisis. With him, we will explore valuable strategies for how to continue the necessary work ahead.

We will also be joined by Blake Touchet (Science Education Specialist, National Center for Science Education (NCSE)) who has taught middle school, high school, and undergraduate biology and environmental sciences in Louisiana, most recently serving as Science Master Teacher for Lafayette Parish School District. He has worked on state and district committees for developing curricula, assessments, and mentoring science teachers. With NCSE, Touchet helps further NCSE’s mission of helping educators teach accurately on climate and evolution. In addition, he supports NCSE's mission to block threats to science education in the U.S.

This event is organized by Bard College, who have worked with institutions around the world to organize creative, interdisciplinary climate education events and in-class activities for their global initiative, Worldwide Climate and Justice Education Week. It also organized and hosted by Black Mountains College, a new college in Wales founded in response to the climate and ecological emergency. Both BMC and Bard are member-institutions of the Open Society University Network, a global network of educational institutions that integrates learning and the advancement of knowledge across geographic and demographic boundaries, promotes civic engagement on behalf of open societies, and expands access to higher education for underserved communities.

For any questions, please email Tobias Hess (