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Britt Wray: Finding Purpose in an Age of Climate Crisis

January 31, 2023 @ 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

During 2022-2023, the Jefferson Humanities Forum hosts multidisciplinary scholars and thinkers to investigate the theme of Repair.

Jefferson Humanities Forum presents

Finding Purpose in an Age of Climate Crisis

Britt Wray’s fascinating and hopeful new talk demonstrates the emotional and existential effects of living in a warming world—and how we can get through them together. Although anxieties surrounding the climate crisis can cause us to burn out, give up, and question deeply personal decisions like whether to have children, working through these anxieties can unlock a deep capacity to care for and act on climate issues.

We need to look at the climate crisis as a whole—not just the political or technological issues, but the mental health consequences as well. These effects can be severe, even leading people affected by climate events to experience PTSD and a loss of identity. To combat this, Britt presents practical tips and strategies for healthily and productively dealing with our emotions, living with climate trauma, and strengthening our communities so we can combat climate change together.

Science storyteller Britt Wray, PhD, is the author of the books Generation Dread: Finding Purpose in an Age of Climate Crisis (2022, Knopf-Random House) and Rise of the Necrofauna: The Science, Ethics and Risks of De-Extinction (published in 2017 by Greystone Books in partnership with The David Suzuki Institute). She has been a contributing host on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s national science TV show The Nature of Things, co-host of the BBC podcast Tomorrow’s World and guest host of Canada’s national radio show CBC Quirks and Quarks. Over the last decade, Wray has produced narrative science documentaries for outlets such as BBC Radio 4, CBC Radio 1, NPR, and Love and Radio. Wray holds degrees in biology and media arts as well as a PhD in Science Communication (with a focus on synthetic biology) from the University of Copenhagen. Wray was a 2019 TED Resident, a 2019 Logan Nonfiction Fellow at the Carey Institute for Global Good, and has been a Visiting Scholar at NYU’s Arthur L. Carter Institute for Journalism. She is currently a Human and Planetary Health Postdoctoral Fellow at Stanford University in the Center for Innovation in Global Health, Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment and London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.

About the Jefferson Humanities Forum

Each academic year, Jefferson Humanities & Health explores a thought-provoking theme from a wide range of perspectives, inviting reflection and action around how we improve lives. During 2022-2023, the Jefferson Humanities Forum hosts multidisciplinary scholars and thinkers to investigate the theme of Repair.

Please join us for light snacks and refreshments prior to the event, and a booksigning and reception afterward.

This event and all Jefferson Humanities Forum events are free and open to the public. Registration is required to attend.

Questions? Contact Kirsten Bowen, Humanities Program Coordinator, Student Affairs, at kirsten.bowen@jefferson.edu.


Connelly Auditorium
Dorrance H. Hamilton Building, 1001 Locust Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107 United States