Trans.MISSION, a new project pairing leading scientists with award-winning artists to communicate cutting edge science has launched three new films – Message from Antarctica, Clean Air and Weather Watching.
In the three-part film, poet Nicola Davies begins by reciting poetry over climate scientist Professor Ed Hawkins’ ‘viral spiral’, to explore the interplay of climate and weather. She continues, narrating over old images from a weather station on the UK’s highest peak, and ends by lamenting the decline in Arctic sea ice.
Nicola said “Both Ed and I want to get across the difference between climate and weather, and how apparently small shifts in average temperature – climate – can make a big difference to the sort of weather we experience. Climate change isn’t a done deal – the power to change and turn things around is in our hands. It’s vital to seize it and not to feel powerless.”
Message from Antarctica
Deputy Head of Polar Oceans at the British Antarctic Survey, Emily Shuckburgh, worked with designer, author and illustrator Chris Haughton to explain how we can track greenhouse gases far into the past through Arctic ice, and thus how CO2 levels are far higher that at any point in at least the last 800,000 years.
Emily said: “I hope people will gain some insight into the excitement of doing scientific research and the importance of the findings for understanding the future of our planet.”
Animator Dan Binns teamed up with atmospheric chemist Professor Ally Lewis to explore how air pollution from everyday items like air fresheners, shampoo, deodorant and paint, create volatile organic compounds and smog that blights towns and cities.
Ally said: “A surprising quantity of emissions come from the home. Managing these is easy – simple actions in the home go a long way. And individuals will directly benefit with improvements in air quality.”
The UK’s Hay Festival and NERC (Natural Environment Resource Council) joined forces to launch Trans.MISSION over three events at Hay Festival Wales on the 26th, 28th and 29th May 2018.
Alison Robinson, NERC Director of Corporate Affairs, said:
“Understanding our changing planet is fundamental to all our futures and art has the power to start conversations around how our environment – and environmental science – affects our lives. These collaborations have created striking short animations, using powerful words and images, to show why environmental science matters to all our lives.
“It’s great to see these works bring out the importance of our science in such an engaging way, from the rapid changes in the Antarctic or the quality of the air we breathe here at home in the UK. We’d like to encourage people to watch and share these short videos online and with friends and family, and look forward to seeing what ongoing conversations Ed, Emily and Ally’s work inspires.”