Informal science education supports people of all ages and walks of life in exploring science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
More than 250 members of the National Academy of Sciences have signed a letter urging action on climate change and expressing deep concern about "the recent escalation of political assaults on scientists in general and on climate scientists in particular." The letter, which appeared in the May 7 issue of Science, notes the importance and challenges of public science education: "All citizens should understand some basic scientific facts. There is always some uncertainty associated with scientific conclusions; science never absolutely proves anything. When someone says that society should wait until scientists are absolutely certain before taking any action, it is the same as saying society should never take action. For a problem as potentially catastrophic as climate change, taking no action poses a dangerous risk for our planet." Lead author of the May 7 letter in Science, titled "Climate Change and the Integrity of Science," is Peter H. Gleick, co-founder and president of the Pacific Institute for Studies in Development, Environment, and Security in Oakland, California.
The letter coincides with May 19 release of three new National Research Council reports on climate change: Advancing the Science of Climate Change, Limiting the Magnitude of Future Climate Change, and Adapting to the Impacts of Climate Change. These studies were requested by the U.S. Congress and funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
The National Science Foundation's Informal Science Education program has funded a number of public education projects on climate change, among them the following:
My Climate, My Community
Conference on Promoting Climate Literacy
Enabling TV Meteorologists to Provide Viewers with Climate Change-related Science Education
Promoting Sustainable Decision-making in Informal Education
Communicating Climate Change