Climate, Biodiversity, Pandemics, and Justice: Converging Reasons for Alarm?


Wednesday, September 23, 2020, 1:00pm



Climate, Biodiversity, Pandemics, and Justice: Converging Reasons for Alarm?

The first panel will be introduced by President Bacow’s welcoming remarks.

Bruno Carvalho, PhD ’09, Professor of Brazilian and Urban Studies, Romance Languages and Literatures (FAS) and Urban Planning and Design at GSD

Samuel Myers, AB ’87, MPH ’07, Principal Research Scientist in Planetary Health and Epidemiology, Environmental Health (T.H. Chan of Public Health)

Caro Park, AB ’17, PhD ’25, Student in Population Heath Sciences, Environmental Health (T.H. Chan of Public Health)

Laurie A. Wayburn, AB ’77, President of the Pacific Forest Trust.

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Additional information:

In the fall 2019 and spring 2020, Harvard faculty members, administration and corporation engaged in a debate on divestment from fossil fuels, and more broadly on the current climate crisis. In the spring, following a vote of FAS faculty and a vote of HMS faculty, President Bacow announced the Corporation’s decision to “develop a strategy to achieve net-zero greenhouse gaz emissions from the portfolio by 2050.” This strategy is viewed as a “path to decarbonize the overall endowment portfolio.”

The pandemic and the political and social crisis that have been at the forefront of our lives these last months have not relegated the climate crisis to the bottom drawer of past anxieties. More than ever it needs to be addressed in relation with other issues, and in the context of scholarship and education. What can we do as scholars, teachers, and administrators at Harvard to contribute to the necessary transformation of our world?

This fall, the Harvard Alumni Association will host a series of “Climate Conversations” via zoom: 60/90 mn of dialogue between 4 or 5 panelists, followed by exchange with the remote audience. Panelists will include faculty members, undergraduate and graduate students from various schools and disciplines, and alumni of various generations and careers.

Dates and topics:

Wednesday, September 23, 1:00 PM ET: Climate, Biodiversity, Pandemics, and Justice: Converging Reasons for Alarm?

October 13 or 15, 1:00 PM ET: Government and the Economy: Reform or Transformation?

Wednesday November 18, 1:00 PM ET: Changing Hearts and Minds: A Moment for Reimagining?

Wednesday December 9, 1:00 PM ET: Mobilization, Protests, and Politics: Are Power Structures Shifting?

Wednesday January 13, 1:00 PM ET: Epilogue: Moving Forward: Will We Get the Job Done?


Organized by Harvard Alumni Association

See also: Special Events