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Lecture to preview major global climate change conference

Thursday, October 01, 2015

LAWRENCE – Just a few months from now, world leaders will gather in Paris to try to reach an agreement on slowing the progress of global warming. A University of Kansas professor who spent a year in a federal office post advising on climate change will share her unique perspective on the upcoming Paris Climate Conference in a public talk.

Alice Bean, professor of physics & astronomy, worked with the U.S. Department of State in the Office of Religion and Global Affairs on climate change and environmental issues. The Office of Religion and Global Affairs works to implement the National Strategy on Religious Leader and Faith Community Engagement, which includes building partnerships on environmental issues. Bean was selected as a Jefferson Science Fellow, which supported her appointment with the State Department in 2014-’15.

The public is invited to her presentation, “Climate Change and Religion at the U.S. Department of State,” to learn more about her appointment and how it relates to broader conversations on the issue of climate change. The event is at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 6, in the auditorium at the Lawrence Public Library, 707 Vermont St.

Bean will focus her talk on the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of the Parties meeting in December, also called the 2015 Paris Climate Conference, which aims to achieve agreement among 195 parties, including the U.S., to keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius.

As an experimental particle physicist, Bean has worked with the Compact Muon Solenoid collaboration at the Large Hadron Collider. In addition to studying Higgs boson decays, she helps to design and build detectors made of silicon, which track particles. She is also a fellow of the American Physical Society.

Bean has an active interest in engaging the public with science. She has received grants from the National Science Foundation to support research abroad activities for dozens of undergraduate and graduate students. She also worked with a team of artists and other educators at KU to develop a website for youth to learn about particle physics and other science topics. The Quarked! Adventures in the Subatomic Universe project features animated videos and games as well as hands-on workshops for elementary-age children and teachers.

For more information on the event, contact Kristin Rennells, tatekris@ku.edu or 785-864-4637.

The event is sponsored by the KU Department of Physics & Astronomy.

The Department of Physics & Astronomy is part of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, which encourages learning without boundaries in its more than 50 departments, programs and centers. Through innovative research and teaching, the College emphasizes interdisciplinary education, global awareness and experiential learning. The College is KU's broadest, most diverse academic unit.