Episode 5

Is climate change actually being taken seriously?

In this last episode of the series, we’ll be exploring how stories work for and against climate change. 

We cover a lot of ground: from hippos and polar bears to how many times ‘sex’ and ‘tea’ were mentioned on TV between 2017 and 2018… so what’s all of this got to do with sustainability and climate change? Join us to find out!

Our storytelling experts this time are Richard Staley (lecturer in the history and philosophy of science, Sarah Dillon (author, researcher and broadcaster) and Martin Rees (cosmologist, astrophysicist, and Astronomer Royal).

This episode was produced by Nick Saffell, James Dolan, and Naomi Clements-Brod.

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Guest Bios:

Martin Rees (@LordMartinRees)

Martin Rees (Lord Rees of Ludlow, OM FRS) is an astrophysicist and cosmologist, and the UK's Astronomer Royal. He has been increasingly concerned in recent years about long-term global issues – the pressures that a growing and more demanding population are placing on the environment, sustainability and biodiversity; and the impact of powerful new technologies. He is co-founder of the Centre for the Study of Existential Risk (CSER) at the University of Cambridge with a focus on these issues. In addition to his research publications, which total over 500, he has written extensively for a general readership. His ten books include 'Just Six Numbers', 'Our Cosmic Habitat', ‘Gravity’s Fatal Attraction’, and the recently-published, 'On the Future: Prospects for Humanity'. 


Dr Sarah Dillon (@drsarahdillon) 

Sarah Dillon is a Reader in Literature and Film in the Faculty of English at the University of Cambridge. Her forthcoming book (Storylistening: Narrative Evidence and Public Reasoning, co-authored with Claire Craig) makes a case for the value of attention to stories, and the importance of understanding their functions and effects, in the context of high-level decision-making and policy-making. 



Dr Richard Staley 

Dr Richard Staley is the Hans Rausing Lecturer in the History and Philosophy of Science at the Department of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Cambridge. Currently leading the Making Climate History project. The project develops a fundamental new perspective on the histories and geographies of climate change by linking making and knowing in the emergence of the climate sciences over the past two centuries. We examine the entwined social, physical, and economic timescales of climate change over the entire period it took to remake the climate, and to recognise that we are changing it. 


About the Podcast

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Mind Over Chatter
Welcome to Mind Over Chatter, the Cambridge University Podcast! One series at a time, we break down complex issues into simple questions.

About your hosts

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Naomi Clements-Brod

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James Dolan