Reframing the climate crisis: from data and microbes to ecosystems and scraps

Reframing the climate crisis: from data and microbes to ecosystems and scraps

Promoting an open and informed discussion about the social effects of the climate crisis and its mitigation by creating awareness in the general audience and transmitting knowledge to the younger generations

Global / Mantova, Italy | 1 January 2019 – 31 December 2021

The Climate Crisis (CC) does not only face humanity with technical issues, but it also requires to re-think how we conceive of nature and society in a complex and interconnected manner. If the CC cannot be fully solved, still we can hope to build a better society that copes with it. Then it is crucial that communities can read, understand, appropriate, and, when necessary, criticize scientific knowledge on solid grounds.

Scienceground is an interdisciplinary project, organized by eXtemporanea every year in the second week of September in Mantova, Italy, in the context of Festivaletteratura, one of the most important literary festivals in Europe. The project involves various activities: workshops with children and kids, collective reading groups, training on how to read a scientific paper, podcasts, interviews, “scientific walks” in hybrid landscapes. Most importantly, Scienceground is an open space where scientists can meet with the public and have informal conversations.

Every year Scienceground is dedicated to one specific keyword. After “data” and “microbes”, last year it was “ecosystems”, and the activities included web interviews with climatologists Valerio Lucarini on the complexity and non-equilibrium character of the climate system and Elisa Palazzi (ISAC CNR) on climatic observations on mountains, with geophysicist Biagio di Mauro (ISP CNR) on the melting of glaciers, with marine biologist Roberto Danovaro on the CC-induced variations of the microbial fauna of the seas and oceans. Along with scientists, our radio program hosted experts on science fiction to explore how writers and artists approach the imaginative dimension of the CC. Furthermore, we organized a three-day-long workshop for high-school kids to detect and analyze microplastics in the Mantova lakes.

This year’s keyword is “scraps”. Most activities will resonate with CC issues, in particular the thermodynamic limits of Circular Economy and the future scenarios of waste and recycling.

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Editor’s Note: All information published as submitted by the author(s). Minor edits may have been made to increase readability and understanding.