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Academy Conversation

Join our free informal discussion on the latest science news that affects our everyday lives.

Academy Conversation

academy conversation

Is living with spotted lanternflies part of the new normal?
Wednesday, July 22, 3–4 p.m.

With COVID-19 causing many annual Philadelphia traditions to be cancelled, locals may have noticed a more recently established annual event during their quarantine walks. However, this event is most unwelcome. It is the hatching, growth and dispersion of the invasive spotted lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula).

First detected in Pennsylvania six years ago, some in the region have been battling these bugs for years, while others may be only discovering them in their neighborhoods this summer. Join us for a free, virtual Zoom discussion as we explore the spotted lanternfly and what its presence means for you.

Featuring:

  • Jon K. Gelhaus, Ph.D., Professor of Biodiversity, Earth and Environmental Sciences and Curator of Entomology
  • Karen Verderame, Animal Programs Developer and Invertebrate Specialist
    Moderator: Michael Kaczmarczik, Adult Programs Developer

This is a free, digital program. The Zoom portion of this event is sold out. Tune in for free on Facebook Live


Past Events:

COVID-19 and the Environment
A Three Part Series

What are we learning about our relationship with Earth during COVID-19?
Wednesday, May 13, 3–4 p.m.

As we adjust to the new normal of social isolating, the natural environment is getting a break from the old-normal stresses we place on our planet. The science shows our air is cleaner and water is clearer. What does this mean in the long run; is it possible to restore Earth’s natural systems? Join us for a free, virtual discussion on Zoom with Academy scientists as we grapple with the environmental messages of the pandemic.

Featuring:

  • Roland Wall, Director, Patrick Center for Environmental Research 
  • Marie Kurz, PhD, Geochemistry Section Lead, Patrick Center for Environmental Research; Assistant Professor, Department of Biodiversity, Earth and Environmental Science
  • Mariangeles Arce H., PhD, Collection Manager, Ichthyology

Why is Covid-19 disproportionately impacting environmental justice communities?
Wednesday, May 20, 3–4 p.m.

For over 30 years the environmental justice movement has been fighting the disproportionate risks that pollution poses to low-income populations and communities of color. Now we know that the impacts of COVID-19 are also unequally distributed, with infection and fatality rates higher among communities with higher environmental stresses. Join us for a free, virtual discussion on Zoom with Academy experts and advocates as we examine the connections between the pandemic and environmental justice.

Moderator: Alexis Schulman, Dolan Fellow, the Academy’s Patrick Center for Environmental Research; Assistant Professor, Department of Biodiversity, Earth and Environmental Science

Panel: 

  • Saleem Chapman, Deputy Director of the Philadelphia Office of Sustainability
  • Lubna Ahmed, Director of Environmental Health at WE ACT for Environmental Justice in NYC
  • Russel Zerbo, Advocate at the Clean Air Council

What role does science play in public policy and social action during Covid-19?
Wednesday, May 27, 3–4 p.m.

The pandemic has highlighted questions in how science is used to guide public policy and social action similar to those raised around climate change. Both COVID-19 and climate change require credible scientific understanding and interpretation; both rely on models to predict the future; both force public decision-making in the face of uncertainty; and both have become politically polarizing. Join us for a free, virtual discussion on Zoom with experts about managing the challenges of science-driven public policy.  


Past Events:

What happened at the latest United Nations Climate Change Conference?
Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Academy Conversation: What happens if federal regulations protecting clean water are scaled back?
January 8, 2019