Climate scientist Michael Mann to present 11th Patrusky Lecture at ScienceWriters2023

Michael E. Mann. Photo: Joshua Yospin (CC BY-SA 4.0)

University of Pennsylvania climate scientist Michael E. Mann has been selected by the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing (CASW) to present the eleventh Patrusky Lecture on October 7, 2023, as part of New Horizons in Science, CASW’s annual briefing on emerging research and issues in science.

Mann will address the opening session of the in-person portion of ScienceWriters2023, which will bring hundreds of science writers to Colorado. The conference, jointly organized by CASW and the National Association of Science Writers and hosted this year by the University of Colorado Boulder and University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, incorporates the CASW science sessions and NASW’s professional development programming.

In his talk, “Our Fragile Moment: How Lessons from Earth’s Past Can Help Us Survive the Climate Crisis,” Mann will describe how climate change created the conditions that allowed humans to live on the Earth, creating new niches to exploit and challenges that spurred innovation. But our survival depends on conditions remaining within a relatively narrow, fragile envelope of climate variability. Mann explores these themes in a new book by the same name, scheduled for publication in late September. He will also critique climate and science communication in the media and the politicization of the climate wars.

“CASW is extremely honored to welcome a researcher as eminent, accomplished and impactful as Dr. Mann for this year’s Patrusky Lecture speaker,” said CASW President Robin Lloyd. “The science writing community will benefit enormously from hearing Dr. Mann’s latest climate science insights. His pioneering and visionary work, particularly on historic climate change, is unparalleled.”

Michael E. Mann (@MichaelEMann) is Presidential Distinguished Professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Science at the University of Pennsylvania, with a secondary appointment in the Annenberg School for Communication. He is director of the Penn Center for Science, Sustainability, and the Media. His research interests include the study of Earth’s climate system as well as the science, impact, and policy implications of human-caused climate change.

Mann was a lead author on the Observed Climate Variability and Change chapter of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Third Scientific Assessment Report in 2001. His contributions and those of his report co-authors were recognized collectively when the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded jointly to the IPCC as an organization and to former Vice President Al Gore. In 2012, Mann was awarded the Hans Oeschger Medal of the European Geosciences Union, and the following year, he received the National Wildlife Federation’s National Conservation Achievement Award for science. He also made Bloomberg News’ list of 50 most influential people in 2013.

His additional awards include the Stephen H. Schneider Award for Outstanding Climate Science Communication from Climate One in 2017, the Award for Public Engagement with Science from the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2018, and the Climate Communication Prize from the American Geophysical Union in 2018. He was elected to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences in 2020. He received the Leo Szilard Award of the American Physical Society in 2021 and was named Humanist of the Year by the American Humanist Association in 2023. He is a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union, the American Meteorological Society, the Geological Society of America, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. He is also a co-founder of the award-winning science website

Mann, who received his PhD in geology and geophysics from Yale University, is the author of more than 200 peer-reviewed and edited publications, numerous op-eds and commentaries. In addition to Our Fragile Moment, he is author of five books: Dire Predictions: Understanding Climate ChangeThe Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars: Dispatches from the Front LinesThe Madhouse Effect: How Climate Change Denial is Threatening our Planet, Destroying Our Politics, and Driving Us CrazyThe Tantrum that Saved the World and The New Climate War: The Fight to Take Back Our Planet.

The Patrusky Lectures were launched by CASW in 2013 to honor Ben Patrusky, executive director of CASW for 25 years and director of the New Horizons in Science program for 30 years.