Higher Education Funding Council for England

Putting a face on climate science

Tuesday 14-10-2014 - 12:11
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Between its university and the Met Office, Exeter has an incredibly high concentration of climate change experts. In fact, it homes the most Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) contributors of any city in the world.

With the IPCC being the leading body for expert opinion on climate change, Students’ Green Unit were excited to find new ways to celebrate their achievements, and connect their vital work to a wider audience.

Last week, a new photography exhibition was launched at the University of Exeter, showcasing portraits of over a dozen leading IPCC scientists.

Presented as stark, black and white, close up portraits, the exhibition puts a face onto the science of climate change. At the same time, it reinforces the messaging of their work by subtly imposing text from their reports across the images. It’s more than just an expression of artistry. It’s intended to inspire thought and provoke action.

The aim is “to raise awareness among students, staff and the wider public about the latest IPCC assessments of climate change”, explains the exhibitor David Mansell-Moullin. “As a consequence, we want to increase interest in climate change and sustainability issues”.

The launch event was well attended by key stakeholders from across the university, the Met Office and, of course, among the subjects of the works themselves. “I have been privileged to devote much of my career to climate science” said Tim Johns, one of the scientists depicted. 

“I hope the exhibition may help to inspire the next generation of scientists, technologists, engineers and others, whose coordinated efforts will be sorely needed if we are all truly to face up to the challenge of a changing climate”

“Face2Face is a prime example of how a good idea can be made brilliant by close collaboration between the university, student leaders and the Students’ Green Unit”, added Students’ Green Unit manager Norrie Blackeby. “This exhibition is an exceptional way of raising the profiles of climate change experts in the South West and using the medium of stunning photographs to build awareness”

The photography will be publically viewable until November 23rd – an exhibition period purposefully chosen to overlap with the publication of the IPCC’s Synthesis Report at the end of October. With the General Election and Paris COP both coming up in 2015, there’s never been a more important time to catalyse meaningful discussion about the IPCC’s findings.

Would you like to host Face2Face following its residency at the University of Exeter? Contact Students’ Green Unit to talk about the exhibition.


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